The next frontier in e-commerce packaging: reusable bags and boxes

Online ordering spiked during the pandemic — and so did the waste it creates. As Cyber Monday approaches, startups are developing an alternative. These strategies have become more relevant since U.S. e-commerce sales exploded during the start of the pandemic and have remained active.
Link: The next frontier in e-commerce packaging: reusable bags and boxes | Supply Chain Dive

An idea whose time has come? @maxlightman


Very cool. I hope we get to see it go one step further from reusable to biodegradable soon. Plant-based Fiber Solutions​

Biodegradable is also great!

Thanks for sharing @rickwatson !


Welcome here @maxlightman – we need to get Nate a mention in this article next time!

Ocado has a great programme in the UK for recycling of polybags etc. They buy back carrier bags and poly bags from customer, recycle internally, and use them for delivery of groceries to customer–legally have to be sold to customer at 10p per bag (yes the bags are a uniform grey colour…)


I had my own program in place to help reduce these packaging concerns by a small amount, but in aggregate it’s still a big impact. Getting interest and adoption has been the largest challenge, even when it’s a free option and just reduces the expenses for the fulfillment operations. It seems like there’s a lot of inertia there, and just general fear of doing anything any different. Disruptive technologies can gain penetration once they have proven themselves (Kiva) but smaller marginal improvements seem to be a lot more complicated to gain traction.

Finding a way where there are benefits both in lower fulfillment costs and in less material used seem to be the holy grail here. The first aspect was sending out items in a package that could be reused for the returns, but there’s so much more opportunity here I’ll be interested to see the new ideas that emerge.


welcome @Marshall - thanks for your insight!

For those that don’t know, Marshall and I started together at ChannelAdvisor one month apart in 1999. :slight_smile: Marshall started before me!

eCommerce dinosaurs.


You can’t be dinosaurs, you are not extinct (yet).

Elder statespeople, maybe (and I realise @rickwatson that you may be younger than I am).

This Ocado initiative is super interesting too