Reducing the Impact of Packaging

Consumers’ gravitation to online shopping – buying everything from tech devices and house supplies to food for home delivery – shows no signs of slowing down.

Consumer Technology Association News
Feb. 2, 2017

While this upsurge of online delivery means each year more materials are needed to ship consumers’ orders, tech retailers and manufacturers are taking important steps to optimize packaging to reduce its environmental impact and minimize damage.

Walmart launched its Sustainable Packaging Playbook initiative (PDF) in October 2016, focusing on three key areas for its in-store retail operations—packaging optimization, increased recycling and sustainable sourcing. The plan encourages suppliers to use the How2Recycle label from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) to inform consumers how to recycle their product packaging. Walmart’s push into smarter packaging was prompted by some surprising data: two-thirds of consumers don’t recycle empty packages unless there are printed instructions.

And Best Buy last July joined the “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign, an initiative by Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council to remind consumers to recycle shipping and product packaging. As part of the initiative, all orders shipped from BestBuy.com include customized packaging design that drives consumers to learn where, what and how to properly recycle at IWantToBeRecycled.org.

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