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Tchibo, Otto and Avocadostore test sustainable packaging – eCommerce magazine

Around 800,000 tons of shipping packaging made of paper, cardboard, cardboard or plastic are used in Germany every year. The mail order company Tchibo, Otto and Avocadostore now want to fight the constantly growing packaging waste. As part of the three-year research project practice pack the online retailers will test the reusable mailing bags in practice. Your experience and results are systematically and user-oriented, transferred to an online toolbox and made available to the e-commerce industry. So should sustainable solutions in mail order establish quickly.

Reusable mailers in testing

In the first test phase, which starts at Tchibo, Otto and Avocadostore in August, that will be RePackSystem tested. The RePack returnable mailing bags are made of recycled plastic, can be folded up to the size of a letter by the customer and returned by post.
As a result, it is in circulation up to 20 times. RePack takes over for Tchibo and Avocadostore
the Return logistics as well as the cleaning and preparation service – Except for returns that go directly to the mail order company. The test is about answers to the following questions: How can reusable shipping bags be introduced into your own logistics? Are they practical and profitable? How is customer acceptance? Does he send them back? And would he even be willing to pay a surcharge?

“If things go on like this in retail, we will break the one million ton mark for in four years
Shipping packaging waste. A solution to this Curb resource consumption, is to replace disposable with reusable packaging in the mail order business, ”explains Lisa Rödig from Hamburg Institute for Ecology and Politics (Ecopol). Ökopol coordinates the praxPACK research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The aim of the project is to spread recyclable packaging.

Tchibo, Otto and Avocadostore work together in a “cooperation laboratory” to develop concrete solutions for practical and self-supporting reusable systems for the industry. The partners have been working together since the beginning of 2019 to determine the general conditions, processes and milestones of the project. The official starting signal was given on July 1, 2019. Concrete results are expected in early 2022.

Tchibo will be shipping RePack bags from the end of August

An essential aspect of Tchibo Corporate responsibility is the saving of resources.
The Hamburg-based family company is also constantly working on new solutions in the field of logistics. These must be ecologically sensible and economically viable. The currently
The mailing bags used are already made of at least 80 percent recycled material and are certified with the Blue Angel. Now the Hamburgers want to go one step further and one
Test reusable solution to the To further reduce packaging waste. From the end of August, Tchibo will replace around 7,500 single-use shipping bags with RePack returnable bags.

In this trial project, Tchibo will primarily be shipping orders for textiles within
Take Germany into account. The customers are chosen at random. A parallel customer survey is planned to ask for acceptance of the system and improvements. “In the test phase, a few points are crucial: How well does the reusable bag go through the logistical processes? What are the effects of the reusable bag at the packing station? And last but not least: will customers also send the returnable bags back? We are very excited about the reactions and hope that our environmentally conscious customers will work well with them, ”says Alexander Ralfs, Director Supply Chain Management & Logistics at Tchibo.

Avocadostore: Multiplier for reusable mailers in eco online retail

Avocadostore as an online marketplace for eco fashion and green lifestyle is pursuing as part of the
praxpack project still further goals: They want to play a pioneering role for their labels and establish reusable mailers among their 4,000 brands. Avocadostore and many of the brands that sell through the online marketplace already use recycled materials for the packaging, some of them ship without plastic, with DHL GoGreen or climate-neutral. Avocadostore compensates for the CO2 emissions of its parcel delivery by planting and protecting trees in Germany.

It starts in mid-August: The sustainable marketplace is planning up to 2,000 proprietary trading packages in
To send the Eco Fashion area with the RePack reusable system. Avocadostore becomes – different
As with Tchibo – its customers actively use the returnable mailing bag as an option during the check-out process
to offer. If the customer decides to do so, they accept an additional charge for the more environmentally friendly shipping solution. In addition, the company wants to form targeted focus groups with customers in order to be able to collect further qualitatively valuable data.

Like Tchibo, Avocadostore also wants to conduct a parallel customer survey. Here too
Acceptance, economy and optimization of the RePack system: Are Avocadostore customers satisfied? To what extent are you ready to bear the additional costs? For example, what could a successful incentive look like to return the RePack bags? In this first test phase, Avocadostore will reward its customers with vouchers for the return.

Reusable mailing bags
Avocadostore is an online marketplace for eco fashion and green lifestyle. (Image: Avocadostore)

“We will become our customers, who are particularly aware and critical of sustainability
certainly give a lot of feedback about this pilot. The praxPACK research project will benefit from this, ”says Mimi Sewalski, Managing Director of Avocadostore. “We are particularly pleased to be able to pass on our experience to our labels later on and to be able to explicitly support small eco-companies and startups.”

The aim is to gain extensive knowledge about reusable mailing bags and their benefits

Also Otto will test the reusable mailing bags for mass suitability and ask central questions: What hurdles does the logistics partner Hermes Fulfillment have to take with the use of the RePack bags over the entire logistics process? How will customers accept the reusable system? And how much less waste is produced from the lower use of raw materials by switching from one-way to reusable systems?

“The goal is to generate extensive knowledge by the end of the project in early 2022 of how reusable systems must be designed so that they are practical and economically viable, and which industry-specific and political framework conditions can support them. Avocadostore, Otto and Tchibo, as pioneers in the industry, make a valuable contribution to the establishment of reusable systems in online trading and to resource conservation, ”reports Till Zimmermann from Ökopol.

Also read: Shopping climate-neutral: Germans want more sustainability in e-commerce