Consumers are Concerned About How Much Waste Their E-Commerce Habits Create -- And They Should Be

The New York Times recently shared one conscious consumer’s concerns about how his online shopping habit impacts the environment. His sentiments are something we’ve all likely experienced. We click, we buy, and like magic - a box shows up. Or two boxes. Or three. It’s an amazing feat of modern commerce, but it also creates very real waste. Whether this makes you feel guilt - or maybe just a little bit frustrated - you’re not alone.

More than half of Americans (56%) say they have packaging pet peeves, with the top two concerning recycling and disposal of packaging. About one third (32%) say their pet peeve is packaging that is difficult to dispose of (e.g., takes up too much space in garbage, requires breakdown).

Search #excessivepackaging on Twitter and you’ll find scores of consumers sharing the frustration over unnecessarily large boxes, multiple boxes within a package, or wasteful packaging material.

Social media can be misleading, but in this case it’s indicative of a larger trend in consumer perception. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) Americans are more conscious of packaging materials and design today than they were five years ago. Roughly three in ten (31%) Americans complain that packaging creates a mess in their home and just under half (47%) also feel that extra packaging is wasteful.

Sustainability and waste are charging to the forefront in the minds of consumers, which makes right-size packaging more important than ever. As consumers continue feeling frustrated by excessive packaging, we continue encouraging customers to use less of our products and to be more resourceful in how they manage resources like energy, labor, freight space, and source material. We succeed when our customers use the right amount of packaging to meet their protection needs, their customers' expectations for speed, and their sustainability goals.

Want to learn more? Get the full details on how consumers perceive wasteful packaging.