Eco-e-commerce: the environmental impact of e-commerce

After the rise of e-commerce during the corona pandemic more and more questions arose concerning the sustainability of the sector. This is of course a subject we can't handle (pun intended) in depth in one blogpost, luckily for us Heleen Buldeo Rai covered the topic in her book ‘duurzaam online shoppen’ and discussed the subject on the radio.


https://radio1.be/luister/select/de-wereld-vandaag/hoe-duurzaam-is-e-commerce-iets-gaan-kopen-met-de-wagen-is-niet-perse-beter-voor-het-milieu-dan-het-online-bestellen?


Heleen states that e-commerce doesn’t always need to have a bigger environmental impact than classic buying. The main impact comes from transportation, returning of goods and the packaging.


Although e-commerce has the possibility, and is taking the first steps, to be more sustainable by using electric transport and ship from central hubs, it stays a very transport-intensive process. First of all the “order now, receive tomorrow” principle is not the most efficient way of transportation. Thereafter it is often very difficult as a customer to combine different orders, even within the same webshop it’s not always possible to get different orders delivered on the same day within the same delivery.


E-commerce has the same bad reputation when it comes to the returning of goods which has both an impact on waste and extra transportation.


"Packaging materials are consumers' biggest frustration"

Packaging was concerned as having the biggest environmental impact and frustration because of the filler plastics and oversized packaging .



At slimbox we’re happy to help our partners with their packaging challenges and help them ship more sustainable by making filling material redundant and by shipping smaller, perfectly fitted packaging.


Quite proud to be covered in the book as well Heleen, thanks! Let’s keep on making e-commerce more sustainable!


Want to know how we can make your packing more sustainable?


Welke vraag je ook hebt, aarzel niet om ons te contacteren. We bekijken graag hoe we kunnen helpen met jouw verpakkingsvragen.