Changing Packaging Norms
Ordinarily, I try to avoid posting about things that make me unhappy, or where I don’t have subject-matter expertise. However, it feels increasingly that some topics deserve attention. So today, I want to talk about packaging; I want to talk about wastefulness and the environmental impact of shipping tens of millions of packages around the world every day. (Amazon alone sends more than 1.6 million daily.)
Earlier this evening, a blanket I ordered online from @westelm arrived in the mail. Like nearly everyone, I appreciate the incredible convenience of eCommerce. That said, the anticipation and excitement of opening my myriad monthly deliveries is outweighed by the growing distress I feel. My mind can’t help but ponder where all that packaging came from, how it got to me, and where it’ll go after — the abundance of plastic, inflatables, bubble-wrap, paper, Styrofoam, over-sized and multiplicitous boxes.
This time, however, it all just seemed like too much; the proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back. Look at those mounds of plastic in the attached picture! Plastic upon plastic upon more plastic, all placed in a giant box to to “protect” my blanket during shipping. A blanket: A soft, cozy thing that can neither break, nor break anything else…
I believe it’s time that companies- ALL companies- begin to think more deeply about their environmental footprint, their impact on the planet, and their ability to effect positive change in this domain. And, to talk about something I do know a lot about: I think companies must consider the brand story they choose to tell consumers every time they fail to take action. Millennials care about this story, Gen Z cares even more, and awareness among the rest of us is growing too. It’s high time.
Following the evidence last week proving how big companies making small changes can have truly significant impact — isn’t it time to ask brands (especially eCommerce ones) to change their packaging norms? The result will be the betterment of the brands and the future health of our shared planet.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com (5 March 2018).