UK consumers unwilling to pay for green shipping initiatives

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More than half (57%) of UK online shoppers worry that the rise in online shopping is a threat for the environment, 72% said they believed that online stores use too much packaging material, and more than three-quarters (77%) believe that packaging material ordered online should be fully recyclable, according to the latest research commissioned by e-commerce shipping platform Sendcloud.

However, less than 1% of UK online retailers currently offer green delivery options at checkout, the report noted, and British shoppers do not appear to be willing to contribute financially to the planet’s welfare, with just 38% willing to pay extra for CO-neutral ‘green delivery’.

The research also showed that UK shoppers’ demand for delivery of products in a timely manner, such as next-day delivery (42%) or same-day delivery (37%), still typically outweigh environmental concerns.

Commenting on the results, Rob van den Heuvel, CEO, Sendcloud, said, “Attitudes toward a more sustainable living have changed dramatically in 2020, so it’s difficult to read that sustainable delivery and shipping is still not considered a top priority for either consumers or retailers. With the rise in online shopping due to Covid and the peak seasonal periods of Christmas and Black Friday/Cyber Monday looming, it’s hard to see this situation changing in the short-term.

“However, there are some positive signs that consumer demand is changing the way we shop and deliver in the future, with more sustainable packaging and electric delivery vans making headway in the UK and across Europe. Smarter delivery options, such as real-time delivery notifications, are also helping increase first-time deliveries and reduce the carbon footprint of shipping services.

“Such findings pose the question as to whether there needs to be a notable shift in consumer behavior surrounding sustainable shopping or whether the retailer needs to implement ‘green delivery’ as the sole way in which shoppers can receive their goods.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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