effects of online shopping
Published January 26, 2023
Tags: Featured
Learn the effects of online shopping in our environment’s sustainability and how you can do your part as a business in this article. 

Online shopping has become a more convenient alternative than going to the store. The joy of unwrapping packages after a long time of waiting is unparalleled. But after the instant rush of tearing the packaging, all these ecommerce packaging waste would end up filling landfills and oceans. Learn the effects of online shopping in our environment’s sustainability and how you can do your part as a business in this article. 

The effects of plastic pollution to the nature 

Online shopping has contributed to the mounting plastic waste problem we have in the country now. The Philippines produces 2.7 million tons of plastic waste every year. According to data from Oceana, plastic waste could reach a little more than 2 billion kilograms by 2025. One online order could use as much as 10,000 plastics and would take more than 10,000 years to fully decompose.

The environment’s sustainability protects habitats and ecosystems, preserves resources, and improves our quality of life. Plastic pollution can help ruin that by: 

  • Altering the climate since plastics emit greenhouse gasses that make the world hotter.
  • Damaging ecosystems in both land and water.
  • Hampering food production due to extreme weather conditions.

If left unmanaged, the environment won’t be sustainable enough for us to keep on living and doing business. Unpredictable weather and rising sea levels are just a few of the devastating effects that would affect the way we live. 

What can businesses do

If you own an online business, do your part to maintain the environment’s sustainability by.

Using alternative packaging to plastic

Improving logistics

Ditch your usual plastic for alternatives like compostable mailers, recycled mailers, cardboard boxes, and tote bags. These kinds of packaging are lighter than plastics and save spaces when you use them to pack and transport items. Compostable mailers decompose in just six months and leave no harmful traces behind. Tote bags can be used as long as you want for any purpose, which is 

Long drives when delivering items from the warehouse to the consumers’ doorstep adds to your carbon footprint. Freight, consisting of planes, trucks, and cargo ships among others, contributes to 8% of the harmful carbon and greenhouse emissions around the world. And it’s doing more harm than good to the environment. 

Make huge improvements to your logistics by automating the whole process of accepting orders and tracking inventory. Give drivers the most effective route from the warehouse to the customers’ addresses to deliver parcels faster and save time instead of getting lost in the way. These practices help in lowering carbon emissions from vehicles and satisfying the customer’s needs. 

Avoiding returns

In retail, a return means customers sending products back to the seller due to wrong sizes and other factors. This return can be exchanged for a refund, a similar item, or a discount in the next purchase. Too much returns in your online store adds more harmful emissions to the environment when items are transported back to your warehouse.

To curb returns, upload all information about your products and user guides online. Write important details like sizes, color variants, and features clearly. Provide limits for ordering items, such as apparel and footwear, to avoid mishaps in orders. Lastly, offer discounts to customers who opt to give up their return option. 

Creating policies for recycling and conserving resources

Everyday usage of electricity, water, and air conditioning for workplaces and warehouses requires huge amounts of energy that leads to carbon dioxide emissions. Add to that the waste that your business operations produce everyday. 

Implement policies like turning off faucets and bulbs when not in use and segregating the recyclables from the biodegradables. Put electronic waste like wires in a separate bin as well. These small steps, when practiced everyday, can help in keeping our environment sustainable. 

Encouraging consumers to recycle

Make your consumers do their part in saving the environment. Double down on your recycling efforts through running online advertisements and writing little reminders in the cartons where the product is stored. Drive more action by stating that your packaging is recyclable as your selling point. 

Make the big switch to sustainable packaging with Oikos

Maintaining the sustainability of the environment ensures seamless business operations for everyone. Plastics damage the environment, but switching to sustainable packaging helps in preventing nature from ruin. 
And if you’re looking for biodegradable packaging, Oikos Sustainable Solutions provides cassava and corn bags that are 100% plastic-free and biodegradable within three to six months. Oikos is the first and only brand in the country to receive an Environmental Technology Verification from DOST. Take your next big step in becoming an eco-friendly business in the Philippines with sustainable packaging from Oikos. Know more about our products here!