February 25, 2019

Frustration-Free Packaging? What Amazon’s packaging philosophy means for the future of e-commerce.


What Amazon’s packaging philosophy means for the future of e-commerce.

Frustration-Free Packaging? What Amazon’s packaging philosophy means for the future of e-commerce. – If you’ve ordered anything from Amazon lately (the best way to de-stress all your holiday shopping BTW), you may have noticed a shipping option that wasn’t always there. Frustration-Free Packaging, also referred to as FFP, is a signature initiative by Amazon started in 2008 that has changed how manufacturers, sellers, and logistics personnel handle the growing demand for e-commerce. Previously, certain items arrived bound in hardened plastic clamshells and wire ties that would have survived a voyage on the Titanic and encapsulated in EPS foam that now you have to find a way to discard. Frustration-Free Packaging drastically changes how the items are packaged, boxed and ultimately received.


Items that are shipped under the Frustration-Free Packaging option are instead packaged in ways that are easier for the consumer to enjoy right away, without them having to fill up their recycle bins with extra shipping boxes, or slice through clamshells with a dull steak knife to open their new set of steak knives they ordered.


Amazon also sought to change how frustratingly wasteful the shipping and unboxing process was, so they challenged manufacturers to reduce the amount of necessary packaging for the item to arrive safely to its buyer. Sellers that opt in to the Amazon Certified Frustration-Free Packaging Program (that’s the full name) are tasked with shipping their items in a way that doesn’t require any additional packaging from Amazon. They are also responsible for providing their items in packaging that is 100% recyclable at curbside so that buyers can easily help close the loop of sustainable packaging.


Those rigid white foam pieces that prevent your new 4k TV from sliding around while it’s being shipped? That’s expanded polystyrene, commonly known as EPS. EPS is one of the widely used packaging materials that are not generally accepted through curbside recycling, and if not properly recycled, end up going straight to the landfill. This is where they sit for a very long time, as they not biodegradable. One of the main qualifiers to gaining Amazon’s FFP, Tier 1 approval is to utilize packaging that’s 100% curbside recyclable, and that rules out EPS.



So how will all of this impact the enormous e-commerce industry as a whole? It will continue to push manufacturers, sellers and buyers to take steps to lessen their impact on the environment, while simultaneously promoting their sustainability initiatives as a more rewarding (and easier) user experience. It provides everyone involved with the incentive to use smarter, more eco-friendly packaging methods and think about ways they can improve the final user experience and help the planet at the same time.


At EPE we envision a less-frustrating, more sustainable and eco-friendly future, and we’re working to make it a reality. We are also a member of Amazon’s APASS program, meaning we can certify your packaging as FFP. Let’s talk on how we can make your packaging Frustration-Free. Contact us today!


For more information on FFP, please see the Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging information page at https://www.amazon.com/b/?&node=5521637011.