This is how much CO² is caused by returns

Online trading is no longer a novelty and for many it is an integral part of shopping behavior. Whether it's a new mobile phone, cosmetics or a short-term birthday present: the order can be placed with just a few clicks and the items will be at a home in a few days. Online trading has been booming for years, especially during the corona pandemic, it really picked up speed again. Three out of four people in Germany shop online.

Did you think that...

  • Only 2.86 percent of all e-commerce site visits result in a purchase?

This means that only one in 34 website visitors actually makes a purchase.

DHL alone delivered around 200 million more packages in 2020 than in previous years. Accordingly, the mail order company delivered 1.6 billion packages in one year. The reasons for the increase can be assumed to be the social distancing measures and temporary retail closures. According to a survey by German consumers, 46 percent believe that their buying behavior has changed as a result of the pandemic. A total of 23 percent want to continue shopping online more often after the crisis than before.

Convenient online shopping also has its downsides

Returning items in particular causes large amounts of emissions. According to an estimate by the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg, around 280 million parcels were returned in Germany in 2018. That corresponds to every sixth order. Clothing is returned most frequently. This high rate can be assumed to be due to various factors. On the one hand, the statutory cancellation period is 14 days, but the usual period is 28 days. Consumers: Insiders have twice as long to decide for or against an article.

Returns not only generate large costs for retailers, but also many tons of CO². The estimated amount of CO² generated by returns is estimated at 238,000 tons per year.

The 238,000 tons of returns have a negative impact on the climate, as do 2,200 daily car trips from Hamburg to Moscow.

What we can do

As a consumer:In you can reduce your returns by reading the item descriptions more carefully and paying attention to reviews that give you information about quality, size, etc. when shopping online. Since mainly clothing is returned, the size table can help to find your optimal clothing size. It is therefore no longer necessary to send several sizes.

When it comes to shipping and returns, companies can rely on delivery partners who offer climate-neutral shipping. With us, for example, all packages are sent plastic-free and climate-neutral. We only ship with DHL GoGreen. The shipments are 100 percent climate-neutral, as the emissions caused by the shipment are offset by global climate protection projects. We also collect 1 kg of plastic waste from coastal regions in India for every order.

Our tip:

Huge amounts of CO² are used not only for returns, but also for unsuccessful deliveries. So plan the delivery on a day when you are at home, use a Packstation or a desired storage location or order together with friends and family.

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