Can Same Day Delivery Reduce Packaging Waste?

Over the past decade, we’ve become especially aware of the waste that we’re creating and leaving on a daily basis. Cities have outlawed plastic bags, recycling has increased, and composting has seen an uptick in popularity.

We’ve all likely adopted some waste-saving habit, whether that be separating our water bottles or taking a conservative approach to our printing habits, but here’s a sight you’re also likely familiar with:

Stacks of empty boxes piled on top of one another. The half-folded cardboard left in the wake of our online deliveries has been stranded in homes and offices across the US.

The truth is that our new ecologically conscious approach has collided with our preference for convenience—and it’s hit metropolitan areas the hardest. City dwellers have quickly acclimated to having everything delivered, ordering their every need directly to their doorstep.

Misplaced phone charger? Old frying pan? Amazon will deliver new ones within hours. The cost of that convenience, however—the mounting heaps of cardboard—are not as easily recognized.

And so the boxes have piled up.

A spokesman for San Francisco’s Recology department, a company that reclaims materials from municipal waste, blames the so-called “Amazon effect” of residents purchasing from online retailers rather than brick and mortar stores.

The increased shipping materials required from online deliveries have overloaded San Francisco’s waste stream. In addition to cardboard, other packaging materials like cellophane, polystyrene, clamshell containers, and plastic shipping pillows have all skyrocketed with the influx of deliveries.

The alternative

While the convenience of online retailers is enticing, they aren’t the only companies with the ability to offer rapid delivery. While pure-play e-commerce companies have been forced to offer “direct to doorstep” service—because they don’t have a physical location to mediate from—brick and mortar stores actually have an advantage when it comes to offering Same Day Delivery.

That’s where Deliv comes in.

We’ve discussed omnichannel retail previously—the trend of retailers embracing a mix of online and offline for their customer experience—but we haven’t discussed how this is beneficial from a waste perspective.

Using physical locations as mini distribution centers to offer same day delivery allows retailers to minimally package their goods. Rather than shipping an item 20 miles from a nearby warehouse, retailers can now use their physical stores to make nearby deliveries.

Items that would otherwise require plastic wrap, a cardboard box, and a role of tape can now be minimally packaged and delivered within hours—all powered by Deliv.

Deliv’s eco-friendly solution for retailers is just another benefit of offering Same Day Delivery. Schedule a Deliv today to see for yourself or Contact Us to learn more about our Enterprise offering and API integrations. 

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