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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Can E-Commerce help save the planet?

Ian Beresford discusses sustainability advancements and Essentra Tape’s new Rippatape Halo which is set to spark a packaging revolution in E-commerce

In a world of clicks and cardboard parcels, packaging creates that vital first physical impression of an E-commerce business for consumers. It therefore plays a crucial role in consumer perceptions of the brand’s sustainability ethos.

E-commerce brings unparalleled convenience and the ability to buy sustainable products directly from small businesses. But many companies aren’t considering or taking responsibility for the environmental shock of shipping merchandise to customers.

As E-commerce grows at a staggering rate – online sales are expected to double in the next decade – many retailers are increasing their sustainability efforts by using techniques like design for recycling to create more environmentally conscious packaging. Communicating sustainable progress and positioning to consumers is more critical than ever.

As a result, sustainable packaging is becoming a key differentiator in the value proposition of E-commerce-focused brands, the traditional hallmarks of quality being replaced by practicality and a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

The thriving growth in E-commerce seems unstoppable as more people sign on to the convenience of home delivery and the extra variety that can be found with online shopping. Yet the shift to E-commerce leads to more waste due to packaging. This is happening even though environmental consciousness has become a shared value in much of the world, evidenced partly by consumers’ willingness to pay more for sustainable products. Thankfully, we can offer a sustainable way forward.

Sustainability can be defined as a process of maintaining a specific value or standard for future use. It means doing business consciously and thoughtfully on environmental, social, and economic issues. The ecological effect of E-commerce activities is rising due to the rapid expansion of the E-commerce industry. The concept of sustainability in E-commerce includes all processes, from corporate methods to packaging elements.

With a lot of extra packaging, transportation emissions for express delivery, and the growing rate of product returns ending up in landfills; online retail seems to be the opposite of environmental sustainability goals.

According to the Nielsen review, 73 percent of consumers worldwide said they would be ready to change their consumption routine to decrease their influence on the environment. With such statistics, sustainable E-commerce becomes not just a buzzword but a desirable strategy for many businesses who want to ensure more farsighted competitors do not outpace them.

Packaging is the current bane of E-commerce. Even with recyclable corrugated boxes, the costs to produce, ship and recycle the corrugate substrate are all additive to a consumer putting stuff in the boot of their car. On the other hand, packaging is optimised for shelf presence, and theft reduction is often inefficient (oversized, plastic finishes, blister pack). E-commerce products (meaning products to be sold online and distributed by centralised fulfilment) don’t need those inefficiencies. They can be smaller, plainer, and more regularly shaped.

Thin, low weight, not much printing, no waxy glosses, no plastic, no blister packs, basic shapes to quickly maximise packing density. It looks undifferentiated on a shelf, but it may be more sustainable.

And with 159 billion parcels shipped globally, and 160 parcels generated every second in the UK alone, we rip open box after box.

Traditionally, E-commerce packages have a lot of focus on ensuring the product is effectively sealed in, which can, in turn, make it difficult to access too. Consumers want to open their E-commerce purchases as easily as possible, with 57 percent saying difficulty to open was a top frustration with packaging, but with 43 percent also stating recyclability is a top concern, balancing both requirements is paramount.

That’s why we can today welcome the eagerly awaited, much-anticipated, paper-based tear tape, Rippatape Halo, to our ECO Range of products.

Our breakthrough solution endeavours to help brands and converters meet their environmental goals while providing customers with more circular, recyclable packaging options.

Rippatape Halo is targeted at the E-commerce market and aims to help packaging manufacturers and brand owners alike as they seek to exceed consumers’ environmental expectations. The brand-new solution is the first paper tape of its kind in the Essentra Tapes ECO Range. It is externally certified as recyclable with paper achieving an A+ level via the Italian National Recyclability Standard: UNI 11743 and MC 501: 2017 criteria.

With a tearing performance comparable to our market-leading Rippatape® 60, Rippatape Halo does not compromise on the easy opening credentials of its plastic alternative. This is truly impressive from a product based on a single-ply, specialised coated paper with no plastic films or laminates.

Thanks to our new and unique tear tape technology, Rippatape Halo is recyclable along with paper and board packs, is fully reclaimable, eliminates the plastic film used in standard tear tapes, and focuses on fibre recovery.

We have endeavoured to listen to and work with our customers and critical E-commerce industry stakeholders to meet and future-proof the sector’s needs. Sustainable packaging designs and materials are a top concern, and we will continue to work on ways to evolve our products and minimise our environmental impact.

Rippatape Halo is ideal for opening light-weight corrugate and carton/fibreboard and is the result of over four years of painstaking lab testing and much industry expectation.

Sticking tape to packaging no longer has to be a sticking point, environmentally speaking.

With early adopters already clamouring to learn more about our sustainable and leading-edge solutions, we are advising interested parties to make contact through Tapes – Essentra.com or by emailing sales@essentratapes.com

Essentra Tapes Rippatape Halo – YouTube

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