Retail waste adds up to big losses for merchants

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The boom in omnichannels and ecommerce has brought positive benefits to both consumers and retailers, with a boost in terms of sales and satisfying customer experience. However, the rise of online shipments has the risk of more packaging waste and unsustainable shipping resources.

The Verge covered the environmental impacts of e-commerce shipping:

Each day of month of December, an estimated one million returned packages were collected by UPS alone. Every returned package emits emissions from the vehicles that return it towards the vendor. The emissions contribute to climate change as well as degrades the quality of air. Many of the items that are trashed end up in a dump.

The desire of shoppers for free, speedy shipping rises and so do concerns about the environment, sustainability, and waste accountability. January is a busy month for returns that make a significant contribution to the issue. However, solutions are on their way. We’re providing an overview of how the issue of waste has become an enormous problem, what shoppers and retailers can do better and why sustainable buying and shipping is a wise investment in the financial future.

Retail Waste Management – Shipping is the first step to eliminate waste from retail.

The number of packages that are shipped around the world is astonishing. Amazon has shipped over 5 billion packages all over the world through Prime in 2017. And it’s not only Amazon that is a part of the insane shipping rate The Fast Company revealed that of all three of the major transportation companies, around 160 billion packages are sent throughout the U.S. each year.

A typical Amazon delivery is delivered in a container, sealed by tape and filled with paper or plastic to safeguard the items in the box. Sometimes, the parcels arrive in a huge envelope made of paper or plastic. Every single piece of shipping likely ends in the garbage. Even when the buyer is environmentally conscious and recycles the box, there are concerns about the sustainability of packaging labels and tape that are that are attached to the box. It’s not easy for a buyer to determine whether they’re doing what they can to cut down on the amount of waste.

Many people — whether they are either retailers or shoppers — don’t think about sustainability. Customers want their purchases in the shortest amount of time possible and retailers are looking to increase sales. These expectations during the season of shopping create an ideal storm garbage accumulation with the discarded packaging and retail industry waste and unwanted gifts that are headed for the garbage.

The holiday shopping season is a time to dump the garbage piles

Online shopping reached an all-time high in the year 2019. Cyber Monday alone racked up $9.2 billion of sales indicating an even larger influx of waste from packaging. Jeremy Walters, sustainability ambassador for Republic Services, an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous waste, informed NBC News of the increase in garbage generated by the holidays shopping.

“Typically during the period between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day we see around a 25% increase in the volume of waste, which is about 1,000 pounds of trash per household” he explained.

The Verge explores the ways that returns can create their own category of waste management issues. Returns that are free add value to those who are discerning However, they also have a significant environmental cost:

Moving around old inventory in America U.S. creates over 15 million tons of carbon dioxide emission every year According to Optro — which is more than what 3 million vehicles might emit in a year.
5 billion pounds worth of goods that are returned end being disposed of at U.S. landfills each year. Most often, the items that are returned are damaged in transit to the destination, which is enough for retailers be able to argue for throwing the item away rather than paying for it be repaired, cleaned and returned to its shelves.
Between 25 and 30 The materials collected by recycling trucks are not safe to take to landfills or an incinerator.

The biggest influx of return requests will be on January 2 when the workforce returns to work after the break. UPS anticipates handling nearly 2 million returns this year on the date called “National Returned Day”. This is a 25% increase over the number of packages that it handled on last year on National Returns Day. The situation is likely to get worse since Amazon, which is driving the latest trends in shopping and has recently extended its return policy to free.

Our most popular shopping season is rapidly becoming inexplicably unsustainable. Certain logistics and retailers don’t wait for the holiday hangover to fade before taking actions. Sustainable shipping and logistical practices are gaining momentum with the hope that better techniques and improved materials can reduce some of the harm and establish higher standards for environmental responsibility in all aspects of the transaction.

Setting the standard for sustainability best practices

Reduced waste in shipping calls for changes in the kinds of packaging used as well as the most efficient practices for efficient shipping. Sustainable packaging is a great answer to the ubiquitous problem of waste. Some of the largest retailers around the globe are leading the way in the use of environmentally friendly packaging and more efficient returns and shipping:

Amazon has introduced Amazon Day in early 2019. In July, a 2019Mashable article stated that Amazon is working to reduce waste by introducing Amazon Day The Amazon Day is a designated day in the week to allow customers to make requests for delivery of their packages. By using this method, Amazon bundles more items into one box rather than sending multiple smaller boxes spread over several days. This method can cut down on the use of fuel and emissions in addition.

IKEA has turned to the Optoro Returns Optimization Platform in order to tidy up their waste from returns. Optoro’s logistics solutions help companies reduce the waste of more than 90% of the returned items from landfills, which can reduce the waste of up to 70% and cuts emissions by 51 percent. The shift to sustainable practices can benefit the IKEA brand as well as their bottom profit. A study by Arvis Retail suggests that more than $369 billion in sales loss in 2018 as a result of returns.

The department store in the United Kingdom John Lewis & Partners launched an initiative to test recyclable click-and-collect bags within their stores with the aim of cutting out the need for additional plastics and facilitate the recycling of the materials used to carry click-and-collect purchases. The increasing popularity of Omnichannel means that this option should be part of the sustainability best practices.

Sustainability is a good thing for business.

It’s in a retailer’s interests to promote sustainable shipping. We’ve discussed the importance for corporate social responsibility for consumers before, and the fact that 75 percent of millennials shop mindful of the environment and will purchase more expensive products made of ingredients that are eco-friendly or products that are socially responsible. It’s no longer enough to claim that”sustainable” is the way of the future. Sustainability is essential today to ensure longevity for retail.

Retailers who find it difficult to accept the idea of system-wide changes The University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School dissects the issue into financial terms:

Shipping in the world cost Amazon an astounding $9.6 billion during the 3rd quarter alone of 2019 The total for 2019 is expected to be higher than the total for 2018 that was $27.7 billion. In total, U.S. firms spent an unprecedented $1.5 trillion on warehousing, shipping as well as logistics during 2017 as per the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Making savings in time and money logistics is a key motivation to change the way we do things. Incorporating sustainability into packaging, shipping and logistics will help.