Zalando Makes Radical Switch to Paper

Packaging at Zalando has already gone through many designs, but one thing has always remained the same: an orange logo on a white background. This is now a thing of the past!

Online retailer Zalando says it is gradually redesigning its shipping bags and boxes. In the future, the new shipping bags will be made of FCS-certified and recyclable paper instead of recycled plastic. Zalando says it has tested the new packaging for three months in Sweden. Now, the shipping bags are to be introduced in all 20 markets in which Zalando is active. By the end of the first quarter of 2022, the complete switch to paper bags should have taken place, it says.

This will work toward the company’s goal of eliminating single-use plastic in packaging by 2023. In 2020, Zalando had already reduced the amount of single-use plastic in packaging per item shipped by 22 percent to an average of 7.8 grams.

Packaging made from grass put to the test

Masood Choudhry, Vice President Logistics at Zalando, says, „We are continuously looking for other, more sustainable materials and ways to make our packaging fit for circular systems. Because sustainability has no finish line.“ Currently, the Berlin-based company is testing packaging made from 30 percent grass for products in the pre-owned category, he says. „And we’re working with our teams on what reusable packaging could look like in the future,“ Choudry added.

Polybags, for example, are a major challenge for the fashion industry and, by extension, Zalando, he said. The thin plastic sleeves that contain the individual items must be transparent in order to read the products‘ barcodes. They protect the goods from moisture, dirt and damage during storage, transport, and processing. Zalando’s polybags are currently made of 90 percent recycled plastic, according to the company. At the moment, Zalando is testing ways to reduce the total amount of material used, for example by additionally folding the items.