The volatility of the e-commerce marketplace has been emphasised recently with unforeseen consequences for businesses slow to adapt. The pandemic has illustrated the importance of a flexible logistics operation while the continued reign of e-commerce over physical shop fronts necessitates investment into sophisticated packing solutions. Even before the pandemic, outsourcing was growing at a prodigious rate, but over the last sixteen months the trend has accelerated to such an extent that the industry is now light years ahead of where it would have been organically.

This article was first published in the July 15th 2021 issue of Warehouse & Logistics News, subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.

The price of new cardboard boxes has increased at least five times since the start of the year, typically at least 6- 7% each time. as manufacturers have struggled to obtain the material needed to generate new packaging supplies. Sadlers is the UK’s leading supplier of used and surplus cardboard boxes and specialises in sourcing excellent quality second hand boxes to divert to the reuse market. This circular approach has been particularly pertinent during the last year of cardboard shortages because it has kept material in the UK flowing from one user to another without the need for processing or remanufacturing.

The increase in popularity of e-commerce has aligned with the ever increasing focus on the environment, which leads to the question – is e-commerce sustainable? Southgate Packaging offers a range of airwave machines which manage the cushion speed, inflation rate and amount needed to minimise wastage – reducing operator time and creating sustainable solutions to void fill. Thereby, containing 98 per cent air cushions using minimal material without compromising on product protection.

Congratulations to Antalis Packaging which has strengthened its environmental portfolio with the introduction of new airspeed renew air bags. This addition to its range of air cushion film comes ahead of the 2022 Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT), designed to encourage use of recycled plastics. Designed for use with the Mini PAK’R and Pro PAK’R air cushioning and void fill machines by Pregis, the new Airspeed Renew air bags are made from film containing 50% post-consumer recycled content and are 100% recyclable.

Well done to Allpack which has unveiled its new range of plastic-free, recyclable, and multi-trip packaging cartons, and is looking for e-commerce partners to participate in a nationwide trial. Boomerang is an all-new, plastic-free, multi-trip, returnable solution that gives a great unboxing experience and, when required, a simple return process. Initial trials have shown a dramatic reduction in voidfill use, improved distribution volumetrics, and a cleaner faster returns process for the retailer.

Listed in the top five processors of plastic in Europe, the UK will be impacted greatly by the new PPT tax. Introduced as a result of the estimated two million tonnes of plastic packaging being used each year and taking effect from 1 April 2022, the new legislation will see a PPT applied to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into, the UK.

It is good to see the industry working hard to alleviate the potential impact of the PPT.

George Simpson

Features Editor


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