It is interesting to learn about how large the cardboard manufacturing and packaging market is in the US. It is quite hard to wrap your head around how large the scale really is.
It is also insightful as to how other industries cross over and affect one another. In this instance the eCommerce and the cardboard industry deeply effect one another. As a result of most content going digital, the card board box market has been relatively dormant, however ever since the rise of online sales and shipping this has provided a significant boost for companies withing cardboard and paper production. An increasing presence of lighter and cheaper plastic packaging on the market has provided new challenges for cardboard and paper companies as this alternative is cheaper for companies such as amazon to use being more favourable from a cost standpoint.
Amazon is one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world and in addition possibly the highest consumer of boxes users in the US, despite the presence of a variety of packaging options.
Packaging within Amazon is an ever changing evolution as the company tries to balance decisions surrounding sustainability and cost saving solutions. Challenges that amazon has faced in the past revolves around satisfying the customer. There were several complaints surrounding the use of too much packaging as small products were coming in large boxes or boxes within boxes causing a pile up of cardboard for consumers.
This is an issue faced within many eCommerce companies going overboard on the use of cardboard packaging to ship products. To address this, flexible plastic packaging comes into the picture. Yes this may reduce the abundance of cardboard, however in the long run plastic will have a greater impact on the environment. This substitute works out to be more cost effective and in some instances reduces the amount of emissions from a transport perspective as more of the product can be packed and shipped. Which is great for the company but in the scheme of things not a sustainable decision.
One of my main take away from this research is the fact that large companies such as amazon don’t genuinely care about sustainability they are more concerned and based decisions solely around how much money they can make.
It is going to be increasingly important for eCommerce companies to consider their packaging and the long term impact it will have on the environment. Consumers are becoming more increasingly aware of sustainability and will begin to favour and notice the companies who are more considerate about the environment and they carbon footprint.
Week 3 Packaging Design blog
About Amazon Staff. (n.d.). Frustration-free packaging. Retrieved from Amazon : https://www.aboutamazon.com/sustainability/packaging/frustration-free-packaging
CNBC. (2019, July 9). The Business Of Amazon Shipping Boxes. Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYh1KTfydvU#action=share
Lydia DePillis, C. B. (2019, July 16). Amazon's incredible, vanishing cardboard box. Retrieved from CNN Business: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/16/business/amazon-cardboard-box-prime-day/index.html