The power of packaging: Canada Post takes the lead in circularity

Online shoppers are more focused than ever on not only the products they buy, but also the environmental impacts of the packaging in which they come. That’s why Canada Post has taken several steps to support businesses in their efforts to improve packaging practices. The post created a packaging guide for merchants and teamed with Nespresso Canada to support its coffee capsule recycling programme.

“Savvy merchants who understand the power of packaging know the value of learning how to optimize it, learning they can apply straight to their bottom line,” the post said in its guide called Mastering Your E-Commerce Operations.
The guide shares with merchants valuable information on shipping costs and materials, as well as tools for optimizing e-commerce packaging, focusing on sustainability, and improving customer experience.
Packaging choices can keep shipping costs in check, protect products, improve delivery speed, build customer loyalty, and help acquire new business, the post says.
“However, the opposite is also true,” the guide explains. “Failing to pay attention to packaging can yield consequences no merchant wants to face. It can add costs, jeopardize operations, and turn away customers.”
The guide helps merchants choose packaging materials and best practices with pros and cons of various methods. It also provides tips for branding and information on environmental impact, such as offering clear recycling instructions for customers and the benefits of using less multi-material packaging, which is harder to recycle.
The focus on sustainability can translate to customer loyalty, according to results from a Canada Post survey that gauged online shoppers’ attitudes toward packaging and the environment.
It revealed that 41 percent of shoppers will shop more from retailers who promote an environmental cause, and 53 percent say they will shop more from retailers who try to reduce shipping packaging.
Excessive shipping packaging is a top source of environmental waste, according to Canada Post, and shoppers are taking note.
“The environment is becoming an increasingly important concern for customers, and merchants that take proactive steps to address that concern are positioning themselves well for the future,” the post said.
Companies such as Nespresso Canada have taken this to heart. Nespresso has partnered with Canada Post in a coffee capsule recycling programme.

In certain regions of Canada, customers can return used aluminium capsules in a free, recyclable bag that can be dropped off at Canada Post offices or post boxes.
Both the coffee grounds and aluminium capsules are then recycled at no cost to customers. The coffee grounds are used in compost for farming, and the aluminium capsules, which are infinitely recyclable, are repurposed, the company said in a press release about the programme.
"We are delighted to partner with Nespresso Canada and to help it achieve its goals," said Canada Post's Vice-President, Parcels and International Business. "We take great pride in helping Canadian businesses grow, and in offering more convenience to busy Canadians."