There is a lot of talk around single-use and reusable packaging. Sometimes it seems too hard to switch from one to the other but it might turn out that all we need is volume. We spoke to Bo Boddum, Founder and CEO of RE-ZIP, about how reusable packaging is taking over retail during the Home Delivery Europe in Amsterdam. You can watch the full video interview now.
What are the key elements changing the way we use packaging?
I think the key thing for going from single-use to multi-use packaging is the availability of the infrastructure that allows us to return the packaging. We are sending packaging to people all over the world and they have nowhere else to put it but the bin. The alternative has to be convenient, cheap, and efficient. By connecting the existing infrastructure like couriers, webshops and making the return of packaging available at the places where you collect your goods, we can remove single-use packaging.
Where should we start implementing reusable packaging?
Right now it is dependent on the customers’ decision. When they shop online they can choose the packaging and pay for it. At the moment shops make the decision to offer it as an option and if consumers accept it, we can make an impact. This is how we started and the more volume we have, the more partners we build into the solution. With time the infrastructure increases.
In some countries we have been working for a couple of years and in others we are just starting. I think everybody knows that packaging is an issue and the industry is waking up.
Many couriers see the benefits of what we are doing. When we connect their infrastructure they can see that it makes sense. In addition, we also use a lot of retail shops as a return point. Shops see an increased traffic so there is commercial interest too.
In Europe a lot of new legislation is coming that will make it more expensive to use single-use packaging.
What costs are associated with reusable packaging?
The way we have built our solution is that there is no cost for the webshop. We offer the packaging as a resell option where webshops can resell it to the consumer. By doing this, we have completely removed the cost of packaging for the webshops. Also, by having the consumer choose it, makes them engaged and ensures that they will return it.
Consumers also get a voucher as a return reward, something that everyone in e-commerce knows is a benefit both for retailer and consumer. But in order to get where we want to be in 3 -5 years, we simply need the volume. The reason why single-use is cheaper at the moment is because their scale is bigger. Also, in Europe companies will soon have to pay the cost for disposal of their packaging. When this happens we will be on equal terms.