The 4R’s Of Packaging To Reduce It’s Impact To The Environment

The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment anticipates that ecommerce sales will exceed $300 billion this year with the most significant volume generated by the coming holidays. Along with the growth of ecommerce sales, it is expected that the demand for packaging supplies will increase substantially. Online sites will certainly make an effort to ensure that purchases are wrapped aesthetically in tulle, baskets, wine bags, cellophane wraps and burlaps bags before they are finally packed in shipping boxes. Presentation is important when it comes to packaging to ensure that the customer is fully satisfied with the online purchase.

The significance of the 4R’s in packaging

AMERIPEN through its brochure Packaging at the Forefront of Ecommerce Growth and Sustainability has explained the importance of packaging for ecommerce including the different strategies that must be undertaken to avoid product damage. Aside from ensuring that products are safe, prompt delivery is important with the assurance that holiday gifts will reach the customer in pristine condition with minimal impact to the environment. In order to ensure a sustainable holiday season, the 4R’s in packaging are advised to consumers.

  • REDUCE and consolidate orders so that packaging can be minimized during delivery
  • REUSE packaging particularly corrugated shipping boxes and cushioning like bubble sheets and cellophane wraps
  • RETURN packaging and cushioning products to local stores
  • RECYCLE packaging by using them for other useful purposes like shipping boxes for storage of stuff

The growing trend of return packaging

Starbucks has trash bins where people can dispose of their discarded paper coffee cups at 18% of its stores in the United States and Canada. The used cups can be recycled into new paper cups the same way that aluminum cans are recycled into new soda and beer cans. This is the solution to the lack of recycling facilities in many communities with regards to used cups. So far, company-sponsored recycling in the United States is not mandatory except for the state of Maine that has shifted the cost of discarded packaging to businesses. Although there is widespread opposition to the mandated responsibility, Coca Cola is standing by its commitment to recycle 100% of its cans and bottles by 2015 in North America.