In the developing world and even in the developed world, companies like Amazon and all online retailers put products together (most of them buy a product and stock it in their warehouses).
Now, these products are usually well packaged (in the first place) and retailers put their own packaging on it to send to a customer.
This is overkill.
Think about it for a minute.
Online sellers (who are mainly resellers) cannot avoid packaging products together because they have to send their goods to you, the consumer and also, there are security issues. It is cheaper to apply a new package than to deal with all the problems.
Manufacturers and individual sellers supply their goods to the online reseller and to them, whether things go to a consumer or an online seller, it is the same, and they use the packaging they have designed.
The problem is that their goods need to travel too and have security issues as well.
This process results in double packaging, which is a pain for the consumer, and the environment.
So, how can this be mitigated?
Honestly, there is no simple solution for this.
1 solution is to provide different packaging to the online seller and to the consumer, which might save on printing, but for security reasons, the packaging may be required. This all may not be practical.
The 2nd option is for the online seller to not stock any goods in their warehouses, but rather have the producer keep these aside for the manufacturer (and not ship them).
This would mean that the 2 companies need to have some kind of a long-term relationship, which may not be possible for goods bought in China by a US company.
So when a consumer buys an item, the producer can ship it to the consumer (instead of earlier shipping it to the online seller).
Sure, the delivery costs could go up because the producers may not have the economies of scale like the online sellers do, but on the flip side, there is also a cost saving for not delivering the product to the online seller.
Companies like Amazon, etc. spend a lot of money in building warehouses and have robots and automation to fetch the ordered goods; this cost can be saved.
Of course, there are issues like sales, etc., and the producers taking longer to deliver, so that an online seller cannot offer you a “deal”, and offer the delivery promise that they did.
This proposition also alters the whole reseller business model as such, but maybe in order to save the environment, drastic steps are required.
To ease the pain, maybe starting in small steps is required.
image courtesy of packagingconnections.com
Consumers (including me) want these deals and cheap prices, but are we willing to pay a little more for our environment and our children?
I know I will!