Delivering on circularity - feasibility study for reusable e-commerce packaging in Singapore

Delivering on circularity - feasibility study for reusable e-commerce packaging in Singapore

E-commerce in Singapore is booming, with over 200,000 e-commerce parcels delivered daily in the country. Further accelerated by Covid-19, the sector is projected to grow by nearly 50 per cent by 2025. But packaging required for e-commerce delivery is not environmentally friendly and the waste it creates is likely to increase in the next few years. This project aims to study the feasibility of implementing reusable business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce packaging in Singapore, with the vision to lower the environmental footprint of this sector.

Key findings:

Reusable packaging is a promising concept that can reduce waste generated by the e-commerce sector in Singapore. For it to be sustainable, two critical drivers of sustainability need to be addressed:

  1. Return rate of packaging must be greater than 75 per cent.
  2. Package design must balance between functionality and sustainability.

Critical considerations for implementing reusable e-commerce packaging are:

  1. Frictionless customer journey: Designing a customer journey that maximises opt in and return rates.
  2. Positive value proposition: Creating a compelling value proposition for retailers to invest in reusable packaging capability.
  3. Seamless operational process: Creating processes that leverage opportunities in Singapore (e.g. existing logistics networks).
  4. Thoughtfully designed packaging: Packaging that balances durability, cost and carbon footprint.

An iterative approach to implementing reusable packaging should be considered. Fashion retailers can be a testbed for this concept by experimenting with various drivers such as customer discounts and packaging styles to determine what works best. Additionally, retailers can come together to establish industry-wide standards, which can be used by packaging service providers to serve multiple retailers and leverage economies of scale. Finally, multi-stakeholder collaboration is essential, including the support of the government and the participation of retailers and logistics providers.

Get in touch:

If you are a retailer interested in embarking on this journey please contact us at markets@wwf.sg

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