Sustainable ECommerce Shipping

Shigao Liao, Carlaton Wong, Anosh Mohammed, Haiyan Luo, and Ester Levitan


E-commerce has gone up a significant amount and so have deliveries. According to UN trade and development experts UNCTAD, the e-commerce sector saw a “dramatic” rise in its share of all retail sales from 16% to 19% in 2020. That’s quite significant. All shipped items require some degree of packaging, but the online shipping boom is creating a massive cardboard footprint from all of the materials used to ship. Additionally, organizations want to make sure their products are received in perfect condition. This can result in excessive padding techniques using styrofoam packing peanuts or additional paper. When people want something, they want it now, and this can result in buying a number of items one-at-a-time, rather than waiting and making a larger order. The challenge is that consumers are often bombarded with incomplete and confusing messaging and lacking infrastructure when it comes to disposal and recycling.

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