Join us in Shanghai, China, in July for E-PACK Asia. Fabienne Sinclair, our Head of Marketing, will speak during Session 5: Sustainability in E-Commerce Packaging and Green Packaging, on Day Two, 06 July.
Her presentation ‘Responsible Packaging: the 3Rs from forest-based packaging’ will focus on one of the main e-commerce packaging raw materials - wood-based fibre packaging.
This talk will take the audience through the journey of the 3Rs linked to forest certification. The source is Renewable, the sourcing must be Responsible, and the end product must be Recycled. This talk wants to help retailers and suppliers with their responsible packaging strategy and what it means on the ground.
Ahead of E-PACK Asia, Fabienne spoke to the organizers to give a sneak peek of what to expect from her presentation. Here's what she had to say...
Q. Could you please give us a sneak peek of what you'll be presenting?
Focusing on one of the main e-commerce packaging raw materials– wood-based fibre packaging; I will guide the audience back to the source of their material - forests. I will touch on responsible sourcing, either of fresh fibres or recycled materials, via the traceability tool available to the retailers and their suppliers before showcasing what it means on the ground, in forests.
Q. What are the key changes you have seen in e-commerce packaging and supply chain over the last 5 years to now?
Key changes could sound contradictory but there are not. On one hand there is growth of overall volume of e-commerce packaging due to Covid online shopping explosion and number of retailers developing e-commerce. On the other hand, some large e-commerce retailers are putting in place packaging reduction plans to reduce the packaging quantity. The other noticeable trend is the move from plastic wrappers to paper wrappers.
Q. From your perspective, what are the key factors forcing that change?
The move from plastic to paper-based packaging is a result of reducing our reliance on fossil-based materials and reducing our use of plastic. The impact on nature cannot be ignored, the Nature Capital cost has to be accounted for in companies’ profit for their own business sustainability. Consumers & shoppers are paying more attention to nature friendly packaging and the packaging waste. According to a study, more than 6 out of every 10 consumers admit that the environmental impact of packaging affects their purchasing decisions.
Q. In your opinion, what e-commerce challenges does the packaging industry as a whole still need to overcome as a priority? What are some of the biggest opportunities?
I would say the biggest issue is the packaging waste resulting from products purchased online. One opportunity could be to centralise the logistic platforms to reduce the quantity of single item parcels. E-commerce retailers must have a wealth of data by now to group product categories with their non-competitive peers. For examples the cross purchase of books with garden equipment or clothes with health & beauty products.
Q. What are the trends and developments that will redefine the e-commerce packaging industry in the next 5 years?
Continue to reduce reliance on plastic-based packaging, increase the circularity of packaging by increasing the input of recycled fibres in paper-based packaging. Collaborate with public organisations to increase and improve the recycling infrastructure.