The Problem With E-commerce Packages
When discussing industries that contribute to environmental pollution, we often think of the energy industry. However, the rise of the fast-fashion and e-commerce has caused the commerce industry to become a leader in pollution.
While the discussion of sustainable products has recently been brought to the forefront of mainstream conversations, unsustainable shipping and packaging continue to plague the industry. Often, retail orders are shipped wrapped in plastic, in plastic envelopes, sealed with plastic tape. With an estimated 1.92 billion people having purchased goods or services online in 2019, it’s predicted that air pollution and marine debris have increased as a result of the commerce industry.
According to National Geographic, “the global packaging market is a $700-billion-a-year industry,” with the packaging being the largest market for plastic in the U.S. However, plastic does not biodegrade, instead, it breaks down into micro and nano plastic pieces, which are often mistaken as food by animals, including sea turtles and birds. As our digital sphere continues to evolve and trends in online shopping rise, it’s crucial that we make sure our consumption habits don’t continue to cause detriment to our natural world.
LMC’s Sustainable Shipping Solution
At Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), we always take a look at the issues posing threat to the health of our planet and all that inhabits it and devise a solution to help combat that issue. Earlier this year, we launched our Choice Matters program, which highlights items that are locally sourced, helps reduce waste, or are responsibly sourced. This program helps consumers ensure their purchases on our online store not only help provide care for our sea turtle patients but also help protect the health of our blue planet.
However, this was only one step in our sustainable commerce plan. This year, we’ve also decided to help combat the issue of shipping and packaging waste produced by the e-commerce industry by packaging all of our e-commerce orders using sustainable shipping supplies, including sustainable tape, envelopes, and labels.
“The packaging a company uses serves as a company’s first impression when being introduced to a consumer. For LMC, our use of sustainable shipping and packaging materials illustrated our core values and lets consumers know that we are dedicated to executing our mission through every aspect of our business model,” said Stevi Kosloskey, LMC’s ecommerce manager. “When a customer receives their order, which helps support the critical care of our Center’s sea turtle patients, and it’s in eco-friendly packaging, it shows that we are serious about the health of our planet.”
The 101 On Sustainable Packaging
Using packaging that is biodegradable and/or recycled greatly reduces our carbon footprint and ensures that the packaging doesn’t end up harming the environment and its inhabitants. These materials do not release toxins into the ground or the air we breathe making them the optimal option for packaging. At LMC, we decided to select sustainable shipping materials from EcoEnclose, an esteemed company offering sustainable, recyclable, and compostable packaging.
EcoEnclose offers sustainable mailers, boxes, inner packaging, void fill/cushioning, and custom branded packaging, which we utilize in our e-commerce efforts. Many of the company’s offerings are made of 100% recycled and biodegradable materials, making them an innovative alternative to typical mailers.
In addition to doing our part to help reduce the amount of marine debris that enters our oceans each year, we’ve also chosen to use sustainable shipping and packaging materials to educate consumers. “It may serve to educate customers as well, to let them know that Earth-friendly shipping materials exist, and that it is possible for other e-commerce businesses or even individuals to use them as well for their shipments,” noted Kosloskey.
Organizations and individuals can be guided through the process of ordering through EcoEnclose’s Eco Resource Center. The company offers free samples making it easy to determine what product fits your needs best. LMC uses various sizes and types of mailers from EcoEnclose to best fit different orders such as :
- Kraft Mailers and Padded Mailers are composed of recovered trash, adding sustainability to their simplistic but sleek design. With seven different sizes of Kraft Mailers and five sizes of Padded Mailers, we are able to accommodate countless products in these mailers without having to waste any extra space.
- When it comes to our apparel merchandise, we opt for 100% Recycled Paper Apparel Mailers. Offered in four sizes, we are able to package the smallest article of clothing, such as our baby onesies, to our thickest sweatshirts.
- For breakable and fragile items, extra padding and filler are essential to ensuring the item arrives in the same shape it was packed in. While filler and protective layers used to be wasteful and pose threats to nature and animals, EcoEnclose offers a remarkable Biodegradable GreenWrap that protects fragile items and the environment! With a similar amount of cushioning that bubble wrap offers, we can be sure our items arrive safely while also feeling good about the recyclable nature of the product.
Other options to explore include:
- Biodegradable Cello Carton Sealing Tape
- Zero Waste Direct Thermal Labels
- 100% Recycled Kraft Roll Paper
- Rigid Mailers – Self Seal
Sustainability Has Arrived!
As you being making your lists and checking them twice for the upcoming holiday season, you can rest assured that when you shop at LMC, our environmental impact is considered at every step of the way of our retail process. From partnering with sustainable vendors to utilizing sustainable packaging materials to giving back to sea turtle and ocean conservation, our e-commerce orders are shipped with sustainability. This holiday season, consider how your consumer habits affect our natural planet and make sure to shop with the environment in mind. When shopping online or in-person with us, you’ll find a variety of unique, handcrafted and sustainable options, which make perfect thoughtful gifts for loves ones. Make your purchase have twice the impact, go green with sustainability this holiday season!
*All purchases made through Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s retail outlets directly support sea turtle and ocean conservation. However, the Choice Matters sustainable commerce program takes this one step further. The newly rolled-out program focuses on highlighting items in one of three categories (Made In The USA, Reduced Waste, or Responsible Sourcing), as well as using sustainable packaging to ship orders. Learn more at Choice Matters.