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Last year we saw a surge in online shopping due in big part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which set off an increase of cardboard boxes and plastic packages outside of our homes. While more and more people are now used to bringing their own tote bags to the grocery store, recycle at home and use public transportation instead of driving on our own car, we don’t always pause to assess the impact it can have on our environment.
Due to this reality, dozens of major retailers such as Ray-Ban, Ugg and Antropologie are looking to consolidate home deliveries in reusable tote bags that are dropped off once a week - instead of the standard individual plastic bags and boxes. New ideas such as compostable packaging and reusable plastic packaging with algae-ink shipping labels are some of the ways companies are innovating to be more sustainable.
Other initiatives such as Clorox and Häagen Dazs are moving towards other types of packaging such as glass, aluminum and stainless-steel which can be returned and refilled for future uses. If more and more companies sign up for this initiative, the amount of waste from households will dramatically decrease in the coming years.
This new trend of consumer’s reliance on online shopping during the pandemic put online shopping under the spot of sustainability experts: Tons of discarded cardboard boxes were seen all across the US during the last year.
It’s also up to us to find which of the products we order online are trying to make a sustainable difference in the world!