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Zalando trials reusable packaging for orders

Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Published
today Sep 18, 2019
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Zalando has launched a pilot scheme aimed at using less single-use plastic bags. The alternative is reusable packaging, which cuts waste and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80%, according to a statement.

Zalando


Zalando wants to reduce packaging waste and extend the life cycle of the original raw material with new reusable shipping bags. 10,000 customers in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark will receive their orders in these shipping bags, which can be used repeatedly for deliveries and returns, over the next four weeks.

The initiative is being tested in partnership with Finnish startup RePack. To reuse the shipping bags, customers are asked to fold them to letter size, attach a return label and send them back to Zalando. 

The reusable packaging will be a big change for consumers, as they are required to be more involved in the process and ensure the bags are returned so they can be used again. Customers will have to return the reusable bags even if they don’t want to return their orders.

Uwe Streiber, Team Warehouse Consumables at Zalando, said: “The entire e-commerce industry is needed to make the concept of reusable packaging scalable. It requires standardised processes and centralised delivery options for reusable packaging. Reusable packaging transforms material from waste to resource. A single system where customers can return the packaging, for example to the supermarket, would make it easier for everyone.”

In May, the German e-tailer announced plans to become more environmentally friendly by introducing new sustainable packaging solutions. The company is currently using boxes made from 100% recycled paper and mailing bags made from 80% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material. In addition, beauty bags were recently converted from plastic to 100% recycled paper.

It has also launched polybags, thin protective sleeves used to protect fabrics during shipping, made from over 60% recycled plastic. These changes have reduced the use of plastics that are non-recyclable by approximately 625.6 tonnes compared to 2018.

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