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Retailers' wasteful use of packaging impacts reputations, say consumers

Online shopping continues to grow as an industry.

According to Capgemini, £133 billion was spent with UK retailers in 2016, and the sector’s growth has been attributed to its core value proposition of convenience appealing to the vast majority of consumers.

While online shopping has become an essential aspect of life for consumers, retailers are regularly scrutinised for the use of excessive packaging. 40% of online shoppers are being sent packaging that is far too big for what they ordered, and this bad practice creates an extra million metric tonnes of waste per year. surveyed 892 consumers who buy online at least once a month, to find out how they felt about the packaging of orders. Here are the findings:

  • 72% of consumers believe retailers use too much delivery packaging for online orders
  • 66% of consumers have received an online order where the delivery packaging was much bigger than the actual item(s) size on more than one occasion over the past year
  • 62% of consumers would perceive a retailer more positively if they made a conscious effort to not overuse packaging and protective materials for online orders
  • 58% of consumers felt excessive packaging made it noticeably difficult for them to open their online order on more than one occasion over the past year
  • 54% of consumers think retailers unnecessarily overuse protective packaging materials (bubble wrap, plastic air pillows, foam peanuts etc) for online orders
  • 46% of consumers felt the delivery packaging of online orders was not easy to dispose of on more than one occasion over the past year
  • 10% of consumers believe retailers use too little packaging for online orders

Tomas Zalatoris, CEO of commented: “With online shopping positioned at the forefront of the retail landscape, retailers can certainly make more of an effort to minimise the use of unnecessary delivery packaging for online orders. Retailers who take the initiative to use the appropriate amount of delivery packaging and protective materials for their online orders will not only improve their reputation, but help reduce the adverse environmental effects of excessive packaging waste.

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