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Are Your Online Orders Packed Sustainably?

Staying inside for over a year increased our dependence on online shopping more than ever before. Ever since the pandemic began, data by Salesforce claims that online sales escalated by 71% since the second quarter of 2020, generating a swarm of plastic packaging that eventually ends up rotting in landfills.

Key Takeaways: The Irreversible Impact of Plastic Packaging

You will be hard-pressed to come across an online purchase that doesn’t come covered with any plastic on it. This is because the plastic industry capitalised on the COVID-19 crisis by playing on people’s fears around sanitation and hygiene — a fear that may not subside anytime soon. As a result, these fears managed to overturn single-use plastic bans that were supposed to go into effect in several states of the USA.

In December 2020, Amazon came under fire as a report by Oceana estimated that the global online retailer was responsible for 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019. In response to the criticism, The Verge reported that Amazon claims that it uses only about a quarter of Oceana’s calculation. But even if that claim were true, the company still went through more than 116 million pounds of plastic packaging in 2019. To put that number into perspective, 116 million pounds of plastic is enough to cover the earth over 100 times, in the form of air pillows.

Despite making big claims about their recyclability, of the 86 million tons of plastic packaging that is produced globally on an annual basis, merely 14% of it is recycled. Instead, the vast majority is landfilled, incinerated, or left to pollute waterways and poison wildlife. Additionally, every year 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter our oceans on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that already percolate in our marine ecosystems.

The Bioplastic Alternative

Owing to its marker of hygiene, freshness, and the guarantee of something brand new, our dependence on plastic isn’t diminishing anytime soon. To combat this, greener alternatives to plastic have been in the works in recent years — one of the key inventions being bioplastics. Bioplastics are a type of plastic made from natural and renewable resources such as vegetable oils and starches. Since these are plant-based products, if the demand for bioplastics scales up, petroleum consumption for conventional plastic production can decrease tremendously. Under the right conditions, bioplastics are also biodegradable and even compostable.

As a brand, we realise our responsibility when it comes to packaging and aim to play no part in contributing to the ever-increasing problem of plastic waste. For this reason, we make sure that we pack and ship all our garments in completely compostable and biodegradable bio bags. These bags are made primarily of vegetable starch like tapioca, corn, resins, and other natural extracts. 

So, the next time you receive a sustainable package from ZAVI, you can be assured that our bags are 100% plastic-free and will cause no harm to the environment. Furthermore, depending on where they are disposed of, our eco-friendly bio-bags will biodegrade within 3-6 months.

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2021-06-14

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