Delivering waste, how online shopping creates cardboard waste.
Scroll, click, shop and repeat. It's hard to imagine that shopping could ever be made more accessible than it is now. From click to the doorstep, we can buy everything under the sun online, but there's one negative common denominator. When our new shoes, subscription toiletries and latest gadgets arrive, they all arrive in their neat, often brown, cardboard boxes.
Unsurprisingly, all this extra cardboard has the potential to cause waste backlogs. You can, however, create a positive from this situation and at Re-Gen Waste, we want to help reduce this rainforest of waste.
Online Shopping Companies Love Packaging
Waste is increasing; in our homes and online, this is more than likely not news, especially for those who've watched the rise of consumerism. Online shopping brings more waste to or front doors, and it's down to us to make sure those products depart on the greenest manner possible. The online element of this problem has grown massively, with online shopping increasing by 15% in the past year alone.
This means as well as more products; we've more boxes, more bubble wrap and more plastic 'air cushions'. It is important that products reach their user in the best possible condition, but we've all experienced the boot-sized box for a pair of socks paradox.
Disposing of Your Online Shopping Waste
Ideally, you would re-use your new collection of brown boxes directly in your home. Re-using can prove unrealistic, especially when you are an avid online shopper, there are so many additional shoe boxes needed. The second greenest option is flattening your boxes and placing them into recycling bins. Some retailers use recyclable tapes and adhesives to simplify the process but, check before you throw all your waste in one place.
Other materials like bubble wrap may need to be recycled elsewhere. Some plastics can be recycled. To see which plastics are ‘recyclable’ read more here. If your local shopping centre has a plastic bag recycling point, you could dispose of more air cushions and wrapping here. At Re-Gen, we recycle plastics and papers and use smart technology to ensure the maximum amount of waste is recovered.
Online shopping is improving.
The outlook is not entirely negative, and the issue is being addressed by retailers. Amazon has introduced, their circular economy initiative aiming to lower their carbon footprint. As well as changing their approach to packaging, Amazon are also offering returns on old products and making recycling accessible. The brand, which is the world's largest online retailer, has also partnered with sustainability organisations to add weight to their efforts.
Other retailers and online influencers are also helping to raise awareness of the green cause. Sites like, Plastic Free Pantry, have begun listing products that cause minimal damage in production, use and disposal. See their list here.
Improving Recycling at Re-Gen
At Re-Gen Waste, we are always trying to improve how we treat waste. To learn more about our journey read more of our blogs here or visit our Facebook page.