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All about sustainability: how the parcel industry is changing its packaging habits

Home > Blog > All about sustainability: how the parcel industry is changing its packaging habits
Written by Ecoparcel June 21, 2021

Sustainability has been gaining momentum in many industries as more and more customers are becoming increasingly aware of the waste that some things considered the norm produce. The parcel shipping industry which often involves single-use packaging is no exception.

Due to consumer requests for more sustainable options, new trends have emerged in the shipping business with the aim of transforming the industry into a more eco-friendly one.

In this article, we will discuss the main sustainability trends that seem to be emerging in the parcel industry in terms of packaging.

Recycled materials are seen more often

Despite many efforts by governments and various organizations to encourage recycling, wasteful materials such as plastic for the large part are still going to landfills after their use is up.

In fact, some researchers believe that around 90 percent of the new plastic produced isn't being recycled. Since the parcel industry is heavily reliant on plastic packaging, looking for different alternatives is definitely an idea that’s being entertained more and more.

One research found that from 2008 to 2017, the usage of recycled plastic as more sustainable options for product packaging has risen from 3 to around 18 percent, which is a significant improvement from recent years.

This so-called PET plastic is believed to be the alternative of the future, that is until and if an even more sustainable material comes into play.

Weight matters more than ever

Another sustainability trend for the upcoming year seems to be that businesses are focusing on shredding as much weight as possible from their shipments, which means that no more materials than necessary are being used.

This is happening because businesses are now realizing that more weight equals more expensive shipments in general. Less weight means easier and faster transportation, less carbon emitted during the transportation process.

However, this is not necessarily the long-term solution for making the industry more sustainable. While lighter plastics and other materials help reduce costs and are less harmful for the environment, they are still a negative which prompts for a further search for sustainable materials.

Rise of eco-friendly materials in general

If you ship on the regular or buy online goods often, you’ve probably noticed that most of the packages you receive are made from either cardboard or paper. This is not a coincidence, as it's another notable trend in the shipping industry.

Businesses are starting to realize that it’s much more cost-effective to produce packaging made from recycled paper instead of using the typical plastic options.

Moreover, cardboards and such are much more eco-friendly, as they degrade in just around 2 months instead of hundreds of years that it takes for plastics to decompose fully. This of course helps also to build a better image for shipping businesses as well.

All in all

Today we’ve briefly talked about the recent sustainability trends in the shipping industry. It’s great to see that businesses are becoming more aware of the ongoing environmental issues globally and are willing to shift their long standing practices for the better.