How are E-Commerce Retailers Using FFP to Combat Packaging Pollution?

“In 2018, packaging waste generated was estimated at 174 kg per inhabitant in the EU.”



Forbes reported that COVID-19 has sped up the ecommerce industry by four to six years, this has meant that many retailers are now in competition to redesign their packaging to make it more appealing to consumers and make them stand out from the rest.



As well as needing to redesign the aesthetics of the packaging, retailers now have the challenge of reimagining how their packaging can withhold the harsh conditions that come with shipping a product.



Brands want to bring a personal touch to their packaging to reach their consumers on a personal level and create that consumer relationship to keep them returning time and time again. For example, brands like Nutella offer personalisation on their labels and Duvel (a brewery in Belgium) offers packages that include a box of beers and engraved beer glasses however, the box it comes in is designed to reflect the professionalism and the aesthetic inside the box.



Along with wanting customers to be impressed with the aesthetics and durability of product packaging, many retailers are opting for ‘frustration-free’ packaging. Consumers want easy-to-open products and do not want to fight with plastic bags, ties or hard to open boxes to get to their products. One way the FFP (Frustration-Free Packaging) has adapted from standardised packaging is through reducing plastic ties around products and wrapping individual items in plastic bags that are not only hard to open but are bad for the environment.



Amazon started the FFP in 2008 to improve customer experience and ensure that packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials whilst reducing the amount of unnecessary additional shipping protection. Amazon states that all items larger than 45cm x 35cm x 20cm or exceed 9kg must comply with the FFP however, if products contain batteries or are a part of Prime Pantry/Amazon Fresh are excluded from needing to oblige to this form of packaging.



This year Amazon is running a FFP incentive programme to increase the number of retailers who use this type of packaging and want to help reduce the waste of packaging pollution. In order to incentivise retailers Amazon states “Vendors will receive financial incentives per certified unit shipped between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.”



 Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) aims to be more sustainable and aims to reduce the amount of packaging pollution to aid in improving the surrounding environment. From using 100% recycled materials, shrinking package sizing, and reinventing new types of packaging such as recyclable paper padded mailers, FFP is an excellent step in the right direction to making your company more environmentally friendly. When shipping products contain less unnecessary packaging materials, they weigh less which means more orders are packed into each delivery, this means fewer trips resulting in reducing fuel burned.



COVID-19 has changed the way e-commerce retailers are packaging their products and are making progress in making their packaging more environmentally friendly whilst improving the aesthetic to encourage consumers to use them time and time again. Although there is already a high volume of retailers using FFP, it won’t be long before frustration-free packaging is our only form of packaging.



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