Recent findings from the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore (WWF-Singapore) have indicated that one in every three Singaporean consumers is willing to choose reusable e-commerce packaging.

The findings are drawn from WWF-Singapore’s pilot initiative, which aimed to promote the scalability of reusable e-commerce packaging across Singapore. It was launched in April 2022.

The pilot effort was led by WWF-Singapore’s business initiative Plastic ACTion, in close collaboration with UOB Group as the lead partner, Better Packaging as the packaging partner, Singapore Post as the logistics partner and DHL Consulting Asia Pacific as the research partner.

Conducted between April and September 2022, the pilot initiative focused on 12 different retailers within the industries of personal care, pet care, health and wellness, groceries, and apparel as well as second-hand retailers.

During the six months of this pilot study, around 15,000 customer orders were processed, of which one in every three customers making online purchases opted for reusable packaging whenever a choice was given.

Furthermore, more than half of the customers voluntarily chose to return the packaging, with a 56% average return rate across the retailers.

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High rates were primarily recorded in the case of the retailers who sent return reminders and were actively engaged in consumer education.

WWF-Singapore’s post-pilot survey claimed that this packaging return rate could be increased to over 75%, with enhanced customer education and convenience.

Convenience, mainly in terms of drop-off locations, has been marked as a crucial factor in promoting these timely returns.

WWF-Singapore CEO R Raghunathan said: “We are heartened by the findings from the pilot as it demonstrates Singaporeans’ willingness to do more for the environment while emphasising the pivotal role of retailers and industry players to create a new, sustainable e-commerce ecosystem that appeals to the public. The findings from the pilot will also provide practical resources for retailers and organisations looking to implement or transition to reusable packaging.”