E-commerce continues to expand in Europe and today as many as 270 million Europeans say that they regularly shop online. This is producing an increase in single use packaging: for each order plastic bags, cardboard boxes, inner cushioning such as bubble wraps are used and discarded as waste after only 24/48 hours of use. Using a similar model to the bottle-return system implemented in many European countries, “Luft” is an inflatable parcel that the end consumer (once they have unpacked their order) can post back to the retailer in exchange for a refund of the deposit they paid when ordering. The parcel is durable and is made to be used repeatedly up to 20-30 times.
Most sustainability experts will agree that packaging greatest environmental impact is dominated by
a) use of resources
b) production stages
By using the same packaging again and again the use of energy, water and pollution emission at the manufacturing (and recycling) stage is greatly reduced as one “Luft” parcel replaces several conventional parcel units. Furthermore as “Luft” is designed to be always sent back to the retailer it will be collected for recycling when the parcel needs to be replaced ensuring that no plastic is released into the environment.