How much packaging do you really need?

Anyone who has experience with online shopping, be it ordering a pair of shoes, a screen protector or anything under the sun; it's safe to say they have one thing in common —excessive packaging using extra layers of unnecessary plastic sheets, bubble wraps, and cardboard. Which is a totally avoidable menace.

As e-commerce booms, piles of discarded shipping boxes and polythene packaging materials contribute to the mountains of waste.

But this could easily change if E-com brand leaders bring about a change, necessary to save the environment at this crucial juncture.

Flipkart is already taking charge and riding the new wave. The Walmart-backed e-com major is seen making serious efforts to put the over-packaging menace behind us. If you shopped on Flipkart, you might have noticed the significant difference in the packaging. If you haven't, fret not, the change as per the company is inevitable as Flipkart leadership is "committed to contributing to a cleaner and greener planet."

Over-packaging by e-commerce giants no more; Flipkart shows the eco-friendly way

Sustainability - A core part of Flipkart's initiatives

In a statement to International Business Times, Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said: "Sustainability is one of the core tenets of our values and the way we conduct business at Flipkart."

Flipkart is making strides in reducing the plastic footprint from the face of this planet, one small step at a time.

Through its sustainability initiatives, the e-commerce giant has vowed to eliminate single-use plastic from its packaging and adopted sustainable alternatives across its supply chain.

Over-packaging by e-commerce giants no more; Flipkart shows the eco-friendly way

This step alone can significantly reduce environmental impact.

Rajneesh shared insights from the supply chain, where he said that in July 2021, more than 75-percent of Flipkart seller fulfilled shipments have been processed in sustainable packaging. This marks a 20-fold increase over July 2020.

The journey of eliminating single-use plastic packaging from Flipkart's supply chain started in 2019. The Walmart-backed marketplace has taken several steps to stay committed to its goal by "analysing and studying circular economy models, looking at ways for packaging optimization, creating national standards on packaging materials to reduce waste in our supply chain, promoting reusable materials, while encouraging green packaging," Rajneesh told IBTimes.

Over-packaging by e-commerce giants no more; Flipkart shows the eco-friendly way

To this extent, Flipkart also introduced scalable sustainable alternatives such as eco-friendly paper shreds, replacing poly pouches with recycled paper bags, replacing bubble wraps with carton waste shredded material and 2-Ply rolls.

Throughout this process, we have also ensured that we are fully compliant with all EPR regulations and through our network of recyclers, the equivalent quantity of single-use plastic going to consumers is fully recycled," Kumar added.

Eliminating single-use plastic in packaging in India

How plastic waste is killing the oceans

India is struggling with a major waste problem for several years as it finds it difficult to dispose of the 9.4 million tons of plastic generated each year. Flipkart is setting a prime example with its sustainability initiatives, one that needs to be followed by other e-commerce giants.

In 2019, PM Narendra Modi mandated end of single-use plastics in the country by 2022. Flipkart was quick to follow PM Modi's mandate and delivered on its promise to achieve the goal this year.

This move by Flipkart will surely appeal to a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers.