eBay has done it again by unveiling its latest innovation: a box that is designed to be reused, sent from eBay seller to buyers, and then sent further along, until the end of its useful life.
The “eBay Box” is made of 100 percent FSC-certified and recycled material, printed with watermark ink, and designed to use a minimal amount of tape. The purpose behind this project is to prompt sellers to reuse boxes and encourage users to become sellers.
The box is expected to have great environmental benefits. According to the eBay Green Team website, if every box gets reused at least five times it could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes a year.
These figures are based on the pilot run of 100,000 boxes which will start being distributed in October. Sellers can place their orders for free eBay boxes until supplies run out. At that point the boxes will start making their way across the country while connecting sellers to buyers and promoting the green habit of reusing.
The inside of the Box contains space for each recipient to write their name, address, and any other notes. Additionally, there are also several green living and resource saving tips printed in each box.
Recipients can log the location of the eBay Boxes at TheBox.eBay.com at which point eBay’s Green Team will track the boxes’ progress and connect with the people using them. After a few months the company will assess how the pilot has performed and where to take it next.
The eBay Box program was one of five ideas that came out of eBay’s annual Innovation Expo. The Expo invites eBay employees from every level of the organization to develop prototypes of future projects. The eBay Box was the grand prize winner with the pitch “simple green shipping.” The boxes were unveiled six months later at an eBay on location event in San Jose where participants had a chance to sign up for the prototype.
It is perfectly normal for boxes to get a few bumps and bruises from the wear and tear of the road. Consequently, once the box is no longer usable its can be easily recycled.
Although the concept of the eBay Box is simple, it is also very powerful. Thanks to the innovation of eBay thinkers, buyers and sellers will be able to partake in the green movement while promoting a green living message across the country.
eBay Green Team