Rise In Online Shopping Leads To Further Waste: Our Thoughts

If we thought we did a lot of online shopping before March 2020, well, the last twelve months have certainly put things into perspective, haven’t they? As the high street shops shut down, we did our best to avoid going to crowded supermarkets, and local eateries turned to click and collect or delivery, we moved our shopping habits almost entirely online.

While we can all appreciate the joys of convenience and overnight delivery, the fact of the matter is that there is an awful lot of waste that comes with it. Even though the UK government has lifted some of its restrictions and we are seeing businesses reopening, we can expect online shopping to be the norm for some time to come, and there are some serious issues that need to be addressed.

Packaging Waste Is A Serious Issue

It was to be expected given that everyone in the country was doing the bulk of their shopping online, but around the world we are seeing a staggering rise in the amount of waste packaging. How often have you ordered something tiny, the size of a saltshaker, only to have it arrive in enough packaging to securely house an entire kitchen cupboard’s worth of stuff?

On the plus side, a lot of the packaging is cardboard, which is easy enough to recycle, but other substances like polystyrene are causing a real issue. Households need to be doing all that they can to ensure that the waste packaging is being recycled properly but it’s also up to the suppliers to make sure that they are using recyclable materials.

What Happens When People Run Out Of Space

When lockdown first hit, it quickly became clear that a lot of us needed to order equipment to make sure that we could continue to live our lives as close to normal as possible, and to stay healthy and active. We’re talking cooking equipment, we’re talking gaming gear, and we’re talking gym and work-out kit. There are two factors that are now contributing to a lot of these things ending up as waste.

The first is that people are simply running out of room for a lot of this stuff, and the second is that we are starting to see places like gyms and restaurants reopening. We are all going to need to make sure that we act responsibly and don’t simply throw these items in the bin. If you’re looking for a solution, using a self-storage facility offers flexibility and peace of mind. Safestore offers a whole range of different personal storage options, no matter how much or how little you need to store.

Impulse Purchases Can End Up On The Kerb

We mentioned storage issues and no longer having any need for items once places reopen, but one of the main culprits when it comes to waste from online shopping are those impulse purchases. We all soothed ourselves with a little (or a lot) of retail therapy over the past twelve months, and there’s a lot to be said for that “Treat yourself!” mentality. But let’s face it, we’ve all got piles of items that we thought might be a good way to keep our minds off the pandemic but never actually used more than once.

What happens to all those new hobbies and activities when we realise that they’re just not for us? Well, a lot of these items have been carried away by the binmen, and that’s just not good enough. If you’re sitting on a lot of unwanted items, then think about donating them to charity, gifting them to friends and family who might want them, or even reselling them.

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