The living room looked like a warzone: Unwanted wrapping paper, haphazardly tossed cardboard boxes and snipped plastic product restraints were strewn about. This is the wake of Christmas morning and birthday parties across America. It’s certainly a mess to clean up, but that should be the least of our worries. Landfills are neck-deep in packaging materials that we could easily do away with if the right systems were in place. In fact, almost a third of all municipal solid waste is packaging. Amazon’s “Frustration-Free Packaging” (FFP) is one of those programs trying to reduce waste, and November 2018 marked its 11th anniversary. With that in mind, let’s take a second to talk about Frustration-Free Packaging and why it matters.
Today, most e-commerce deliveries ship a product in their primary packaging, which is the box and all its components that you’ll find on a retail shelf. They stick the primary packaging in secondary packaging, which includes a shipping box and void filler.
In short, FFP changes the way brand-owners package their products that Amazon sells and helps transport from the warehouse to your house. The program uses easy-to-open boxes that protect the product while still being constructed from recyclable materials and reducing overall waste in the process. This is accomplished by combining primary and secondary packaging — eliminating most of the packaging that is currently used in an e-commerce shipment. Packsize, which provides businesses with the tools they need to make better-fitting custom boxes, is a huge proponent of FFP and the overarching environmentally-conscious objective.
In a sample case study, Amazon clearly lays out what’s to gain from FFP. The “standard retail” packaging product count for a “Star Wars” toy totals 24 components. These include an exterior box, paper cushion, product box, wire ties and more. The same shipping-ready toy that meets FFP standards has a mere four packaging components, which is an 83 percent reduction.
“The role of packaging in online retail is different than brick and mortar, which enables the opportunity to reduce the amount of packaging we deliver to customers,” Amazon’s senior manager of customer packaging experience told Packaging World magazine in a December 2018 article. There’s also a pretty good point here: Will your child really care about the box that their new toy came in—or are they looking to play with the truck or dollhouse ASAP? This is where FFP comes in, and its limitations on leftover cardboard should make adult consumers happy, too, as they have less to clean up and throw out at the end of the day.
In case it wasn’t obvious, Frustration-Free Packaging is important for two reasons:
- Less materials to unpack, unwrap and throw away makes your customers happier.
- Less materials shipped means that less materials end up in a landfill.
Eliminating unnecessary packaging materials by consolidating primary and secondary packaging is an important future trend in the packaging industry. Companies that look to do this will eliminate the majority of the materials used in their shipments while providing a better packaging experience for their customers.
Packsize provides companies with the hardware and software needed to create Right-sized Packaging On Demand®. The long-standing alternative, which does no favors for the environment nor consumers, has been to stick large items in oversized boxes and fill the void with airbags and packing peanuts. Packsize helps resolve the problem.