This reusable package aims to slash the environmental costs of e-commerce

Among the key environmental issues that come with e-commerce is the overwhelming amount of single-use packaging it uses for deliveries. A Finnish-based startup is now proving that the industry can do better.

Using an innovative reusable system, RePack provides packaging-as-a-service to online retailers and web stores of known brands wishing to reduce their environmental footprint.

When customers place their orders online, they can opt for RePack’s alternative reuse packaging. Their order is then delivered to them in a RePack shipper with a prepaid return label. Customers then drop the empty packaging in a mailbox to be sent back, cleaned, and reused.

Made from tough woven polypropylene, RePack’s recycled plastic mailers are designed to have a lower carbon footprint than their single-use counterparts as soon as they’re reused once. The impact shrinks further each time the bag goes through the system. When the packages can’t be used any longer, the company upcycles them into other reusable products.

“Even taking into consideration that empty return path—when the RePack’s folded up and mailed back to us, and the carbon that it takes for that post office truck to take it back—it’s still a huge win over single-use in terms of carbon emissions.”

In Europe, RePack has already run a number of pilots with large brands like H&M and now works with 125 companies, with hundreds of thousands of its reusable packages in circulation. In the US, where it launched this year, the company is looking to partner with such brands as North Face and Vans.

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