Reusable Packaging To Reduce Waste

Reusable Packaging To Reduce Waste

With the growth of online ordering from companies such as Amazon, the amount of packaging waste has increased substantially.

Limeloop, a reusable packaging company, has estimated that approximately 165 billion packages are shipped each year in the United States.  This has placed a tremendous strain on waste management and recycling.  Not to mention the amount of materials used to produce the packaging.  For example, this translates to requiring approximately 1 billion trees to produce the cardboard for the packaging.

Limeloop has developed a a durable, lightweight, waterproof pouch that can be returned by the customer, and re-used for shipping as many as 2,000 times.  Limeloop’s initial market is the apparel industry.  But, the plan is to expand to larger packages in other industries.

This post is based on the Fast Company article, Can Online Retail Solve Its Packaging Problem?, by Adele Peters, April 20, 2018. Image source: Ralph125/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the benefits to reusable packaging?

Guidance: The obvious benefit is the reduction in waste that must be recycled or sent to the land fill, but consider other benefits which could accrue in the supply chain, including for logistics Continue reading

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After 100 Years, a Year is the Limit

After 100 Years, a Year is the Limit

February 18, 2018

L.L. Bean has changed its 106-year old return policy. Returns will now be limited to a one-year time period.

If that sounds generous, keep in mind that for over a hundred years, the company has offered an ‘unlimited’ customer return policy.

Over the last five years, the viral nature of social media has accelerated losses on returns to $250 million. These products are what the company calls “destroy quality”, items so used or damaged they’re sent to landfills.

This post is based on the CBS News article, L.L. Bean changes its unusually generous product return policy, by The Associated Press, February 9, 2018. 

Discussion Questions
1. How might the merchandise return policy change impact L.L Bean’s order winner(s)?

Guidance: Students should review the concept of order qualifiers/order winners.  Ask students to identify the order winner(s) that L.L. Bean had under the old customer return policy.  Students should then compare the new customer return policy to competing firms in the retail industry.  Does the new return policy change L.L. Bean’s order winner(s)?

2. With over $250 million of returns at L.L. Bean over the last five years, identify the supply chain issues created by Continue reading

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