Online shopping and our environment: the problem, and how we can help

Online shopping has revolutionised the way we shop. But in the process, the number of parcels that are delivered to homes across the UK each day is going up, and up, and up.

Published: Thursday, 11th May 2023

Why is this a problem? 

It may not be as visible or obvious as some environmental challenges, but as online retail grows, and more and more online deliveries are made, there are significant implications for our planet. 


Why online shopping is a problem for our environment 

The rise of online shopping in the UK – intensified by lockdowns and the Covid-19 pandemic – has led to the year-on-year growth of parcel deliveries to our homes.  Projections indicate that home delivery volumes could reach 1 billion by 2030, requiring over 20,000 delivery vehicles on our roads. 

This increase in traffic leads to more carbon emissions released into our atmosphere, worsened air quality, and a subsequent host of environmental and health challenges

So, how can we help reduce pollution in London and across the country? 


Out-of-home delivery is one solution 

Simply, it’s ‘the last mile’ of home deliveries (which is the short journey the courier vehicles take from the local warehouse to individual addresses) that is the most avoidable contribution to air pollution and congestion, particularly in busy cities like London.  

Out-of-home delivery options include convenient services like ‘Click & Collect’, parcel shops, and lockers. By being aware of how many online deliveries we place as well as the locations of out-of-home delivery options, the number of delivery vans visiting separate home addresses can be significantly reduced.  

Fewer delivery vehicles visiting fewer locations not only reduces the miles travelled, but in turn helps cut down on congestion and its contribution to air pollution. 


The benefits

Out-of-home deliveries offer numerous benefits for both the environment and customers: 

Impact On Our Neighbourhood: By decreasing the number of miles travelled by delivery vehicles, out-of-home deliveries can help reduce carbon emissions. This reduction in emissions helps combat climate change, improves air quality, and contributes to a healthier neighbourhood. 

Convenience: Out-of-home delivery options provide added convenience for customers; both when returning parcels and receiving them. With extended operating hours and localised collection/drop-off points, people have more flexibility within their daily schedules. 

Addressing Delivery Issues: Many online shoppers experience challenges with receiving deliveries at home. Out-of-home options provide a reliable and safe solution, ensuring that parcels are securely stored until customers are available to collect them. This eliminates missed deliveries and enhances the overall shopping experience. 

Free standing lockers


Give your local locker a go 

Out-of-home deliveries present one practical solution to the environmental challenges caused by the increase in online shopping.  Utilising ‘Click & Collect’, as well as neighbourhood parcel locker providers such as YEEP website can help cut down on carbon emissions from vehicles, and reduce congestion caused by traffic. 

Hounslow residents can make a real contribution to improving Hounslow’s air quality by giving out-of-home delivery a go. All while maintaining the convenience of ordering online.  

Stay tuned to Hounslow’s social digital channels in the coming weeks for more information about out-of-home delivery in the borough.

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