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Environment

The environmental impact of Black Friday

Smart packaging firm, Sourceful, has revealed research that shows the environmental impact of Black Friday

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Research from Sourceful has highlighted the among of packaging Black Friday and Cyber Monday will produce

Research from Sourceful predicts a stack of cardboard three times as tall as the Shard and enough parcel tape to go around the globe twice will be used for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Sourceful, a Manchester-based startup backed by Index Ventures and Coatue, is using AI tools and technology to enable users to optimise packaging design for reuse and recycling and to make labelling clear to make recycling easier. 

According to the company, up to 250 million packages will be shipped as a result of online purchases made between Black Friday (November 24th) and Cyber Monday (November 27th). 

Analysis from the smart packaging firm predicts that these packages will contain around 11,300 tonnes of cardboard, paper, and plastics. However, the company also predicts that around 74% of cardboard used (around 4,809 tonnes) will be recycled. The remaining 26% will go to landfill or incineration.

On this, the company adds that consumers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly packaging options with 79% demanding products in sustainable packaging. As a result, brands have been steadily moving to more eco-friendly packaging solutions. 

Sourceful’s packaging is made up of over 91% recyclable materials

Sourceful’s packaging is made up of over 91% recyclable materials and includes paper-based tapes and recyclable LDPE mailer bags. According to the company’s research, the number of mailer bags used this year for the sale period could fill 99 Olympic-sized swimming pools so their ability to be recycled is an important factor.

The company’s recent study ‘Solving the Packaging Puzzle’ found that it is startup e-commerce companies that are leading the way in terms of sustainability with 83% saying it is a priority despite any cost implications.

Despite having larger budgets, large retailers are slower to deliver tangible environmental impact. However, close to half of large firms say it is their main priority to use more sustainable materials in their packaging supply chain. 

By utilising Sourceful’s sustainability tools, a number of brands have achieved reductions in their environmental impact. These include personalised nutrition brand, ZOE, achieving a 66% smaller carbon footprint, deodorant brand, Wild, using 68% less material, and jewellery brand, Fenton, achieving a 50% reduction in packaging costs.

Wing Chan, co-founder of Sourceful, says: “Our technology and tools are here to help businesses make better packaging choices and make it easier for their customers to re-use and recycle. We know that consumers want eco-friendly packaging and for the most part brands are trying to respond.

“We have a tool on our website that enables businesses to understand the environmental footprint of each item of packaging and see alternative options. Through better material choices and smarter design, we can improve recycling rates further still.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

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