Zalando is using recyclable paper bags to ship goods to consumers in all 20 of its global markets, as part of ongoing sustainability measures.
While the previous bags were made of plastic with 80% recycled content, the new shipping bags are made of FSC-certified and recyclable paper, according to the online retailer and marketplace. The new recyclable paper bags were previously tested in a three-month pilot in Sweden, and Zalando deemed the test a success.
By the end of the first quarter in 2022, the company plans to have switched entirely to recyclable paper bags for shipping its goods to consumers.
Zalando said switching from plastic to paper is one way the company is working towards its goal of eliminating single-use plastic in packaging by 2023. But it acknowledges that efforts to be more sustainable must be ongoing.
Masood Choudhry, vice president for logistics at Zalando, commented: “We continuously look at other more sustainable material options, and ways to make our packaging fit for circular systems.
“Sustainability doesn’t have a finish line — we can always improve on or question the status quo. This is why we need to develop new packaging options that provide the best possible protection for the items shipped and simultaneously meet our sustainability requirements.”
He said that Zalando is trialling other parcel options including “pre-owned” boxes, which are made of 30% grass, and several additional reusable packaging solutions.
As well as the new shipping bags, Zalando customers will begin receiving their orders in brown boxes. They are still made of 100% recycled cardboard and water-based ink, like the white boxes they replace, but the move has been made to ensure the shipping bags and parcel boxes have a similar look and feel.
As part of the switch-to-paper-packaging announcement, Zalando acknowledged polybags are a major challenge for the fashion industry as a whole. It said the polybags it uses are made of 90% recycled plastic, adding it was “looking into opportunities to reduce the total amount of material used, such as by folding items repeatedly to make them more compact”.
[Image credit: Zalando]