Deborah Meaden on ecommerce packaging and recycling

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Linnworks put on a fantastic show at last week’s Linn Academy with a packed hall for the keynotes and none more so than for Deborah Meaden’s onstage live Q&A with the audience able to ask anything and everything. VIP ticket holders however, were able to attend a private Q&A session with Deborah and she made her concerns about ecommerce and the environment abundantly clear.

Deborah puts her money were her mouth is as anyone who’s watched Dragons’ Den will know, but she’s just as passionate about the environment as she is her investments and ecommerce packaging hasn’t escaped her attention.

Unseen by many, Deborah was offered a coffee in the VIP lounge where Emily from The Barista was serving. Sponsored by myHermes, there were disposable branded cups throughout the day but Deborah was the one and only person who rejected the proffered sponsored cup and brandishing her own travel mug insisted her coffee be served in it. Deborah is a lady that doesn’t just preach green values but lives them in her own life.

Speaking about ecommerce packaging Deborah wasn’t slow to show her disdain for Amazon and ecommerce in general. Packaging arrives at our homes in ever increasing amounts and is not only impossible to avoid but also mostly isn’t recyclable in any practical manner. Ecommerce packaging is something we’ve written about before and also produced a Tamebay Packaging Position Paper.

Many companies are extolling the virtues of their ecommerce packaging, but all too often, even if it is recyclable, consumers have no idea as to how or where they can dispose of it. For instance, eBay have supposedly ‘green’ recyclable packaging but does anyone know where the 100% Recyclable eBay Branded Packaging Self Seal Plastic Postage Bags can be disposed of for recycling? I suspect most of them end up in landfill.

When asked who should be responsible for recycling of packaging (manufacturers, retailers, consumers or Government) in the VIP Q&A, Deborah Meaden instantly said that Government legislation was the answer. She explained that all the time local councils can set recycling policies and decide what types of material they are willing to recycle and what’s not recyclable locally consumers will continue to be confused. What’s needed is a national policy with packaging clearly marked when it is recyclable and a clear lead from councils on how to dispose of packaging so that it will actually be recycled.

If you missed out on Linn Academy this year make sure you book for 2019 when the dates are announced. A sell out this year, it’s unlikely to be in the same venue next year as the size of the conference is growing so fast and with speakers such as Deborah Meaden it’s likely that next year’s event will be significantly bigger.

One Response

  1. So true…. we have stopped using our eco friendly biodegradable or recyclable bubble wrap anymore as it either doesnt get recycled or it gets burnt instead! So extra cost with no real difference in end result. We are happy to reuse boxed etc to save on waste… at a time when the likes of ebay etc are promoting nice shiny new packagaing for everyone!
    Sadly like she says…. until we have a unfied recycling system, the future is confused and wasteful. ( trust me i live in the new forest and our council have one of the worst recycling records in the country…. but a fancy incinerator… funny that.


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