What was the last thing you ordered online? A gift for your partner, a pair of shoes, a camera for your summer holiday or a lamp for your new house? The volume of parcels shipped has grown tremendously in the past decade. This rapid increase comes as no surprise, given that online shopping is a mainstay of modern life.
According to research by Statista, more than 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online in 2021, compared to 1.66 billion digital buyers in 2016. In 2017, global e-retail sales grew by 24.8% compared to the previous year. Chinese e-retailer Tmall alone ships 12 million boxes per day.
Less is more
The rise of e-commerce is great news for the packaging and transport industries. At FP International, a global solutions provider and innovator of protective packaging systems, we offer in-line operations at international distribution fulfilment centres to smart pack stations at start-up companies, webshops and small businesses. We ensure that the goods are properly packaged to prevent product damage.
However, the more packaging materials used, the bigger the impact on the environment. For the packaging industry, this raises the important question of how to ship the growing number of parcels sustainably. Our answer: less is more. FP International uses less material and less energy and makes sure that less waste is created compared to alternative packaging options to protect your products.
Sustainable and high quality?
Given this reduction in packaging materials, you may wonder how we protect customers’ parcels to ensure that your goods arrive undamaged. The answer is air. Our protective packaging consists of more than 99% air and less than 1% fully recyclable material.
FP International is the leading expert in air cushions, a thin plastic film inflated with air. We are the only air cushion manufacturer that is fully compliant with the European Directive 91/62/EC and EN13427 on Packaging and Packaging Waste.
We strive to reduce the use of unnecessary packaging materials. We’ve all been there; you order a product and it’s delivered in an oversized box surrounded by lots of packaging material.
To encourage optimum packaging, we work closely with our distribution partners and customers to find the right solutions for your products. We often invest time in training our customers to ensure that best practice is achieved and that goods are shipped with the optimum amount of packaging required.
Together with our suppliers, we continuously strive to find new ways to improve our production process. For example, despite the films making up less than 1% of our air cushions, we are still trying to reduce the amount of material we use while maintaining the same level of protection.
We use transponders during delivery to precisely measure the forces the packaging material is subjected to in transit. This helps us come up with new ways to reinforce our cushions so they can be constructed from thinner materials. We are also searching for viable alternatives for our source materials, such as bioplastics made from vegetable oils or corn starch.
Products in parcels protected by our air cushions are lighter and require less packaging material than products packed with paper. Our air cushions can also be inflated on site to save on transport costs and storage space.
FP International exclusively works with fully reusable and recyclable packaging materials and water-based ink that does not impact the recycling process.
Our employees also challenge each other to work in the smartest and most efficient way possible. We encourage our customers to do the same. Minimising our impact on the planet is an ambition we take very seriously every day. But we also try to have fun with our energy-reduction efforts, whether it’s traveling to work economically, recycling rubbish or preventing food waste.
Our slogan, ‘Protecting What Matters’, perfectly encapsulates our goals and efforts in pursuit of a circular economy. The less-is-more approach governs all attitudes and actions at FP International, allowing us all to save time, energy, raw materials and money.