E-commerce giant Amazon is moving to phase out the use of corrugated box, the primary container of e-commerce delivery, as it seeks to boost the company's environmental profile while further reducing operating costs and increasing customer convenience.
In a statement released by Ohio-based international business research firm, Freedonia Group, Inc., it said that Amazon is currently in the midst of a number of packaging innovations, as it targets to have "zero packagings of any type" over the next few years.
Source reduction, right-sizing, & recyclability trends
The packaging innovation currently underway is led by Amazon and other global e-commerce leaders such as JD.com in China, which among others, highlight the following industry-wide trend in packaging formats which can be reused by the customer or the shipper if it is returned; reduces or eliminates the need for void fill and protective packaging; eliminates the need for secondary packaging, such as boxes; uses less material overall and uses more recyclable materials.
"Amazon works closely with packaging manufacturers to achieve these goals and even has an in-house team dedicated to solving packaging problems, with an eye on eliminating the need for packaging altogether," the firm said.
Sustainability saves time, money
Freedonia said for years, Amazon has offered certifications to packaging that is "frustration-free" and "e-commerce-ready" as part of its sustainability efforts.
It noted though that the potential for cost savings is also high as more online orders are delivered in recyclable, easy-to-open boxes that come "without excess packaging materials" and are "ready-to-ship" direct from the manufacturer to the consumer, saving time and money in the process.
"Driving this shift toward more sustainable packaging, Amazon pays its vendors for packing heavy and bulky products in 100% recyclable primary packaging that can be shipped without need for an additional box," Freedonia said.
This year, however, it noted that the incentive will be replaced by a penalty for vendors that do not comply with the standards.