A list of the key (industry-specific) terms and their meaning frequently used in the report.
Packaging, in all its different forms, is ubiquitous across the fashion industry. This is no more evident than the single-use plastic and cardboard packaging that enables the burgeoning e-commerce market.
Images of plastic contaminating the marine environment, causing harm to wildlife and the ecosphere are embedded in the public consciousness. There is a growing consumer focus on reducing plastics, most notably single-use plastic packaging. The sense of urgency to tackle this issue is increasing from all sectors of society. This is no different in the fashion industry – single-use packaging is ubiquitous.
For the purposes of this study, the ‘Fast-Track’ Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, developed by the Technical University of Delft, was used to compare the environmental impact of single-use versus reusable packaging systems.
The purpose of this section is to take the findings from the impact assessment and present the key considerations for implementing a reusable system to ensure its future potential success.
The exponential growth of e-commerce, coupled with optimised global supply chains has meant that we are consuming more packaging than ever.56 Whilst the current system of single-use plastic provides a low-cost and highly functional solution, it often comes at the expense of the environment. Increased consumption of packaging is fuelling the continued extraction of fossil-derived raw materials, whilst low recycling rates for flexible plastic packaging are leading to the generation of huge amounts of plastic waste.