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  1. ITV Report

ITV News investigates over packaging in Christmas deliveries

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

Many people find far more than they ordered in their online Christmas deliveries as retailers pack small items in big boxes filled with excessive padding.

ITV News has discovered that 40% of online shoppers are being sent deliveries with packaging that is too big, creating an extra one million metric tonnes of waste every year.

Retailers have said they are committed to reducing the amount of packaging they use in deliveries after environmental campaigners urged for tougher rules to stop excessive use of padding.

Chris Choi battles with excess packaging. Credit: ITV News

To highlight the issue, ITV News ordered items from some of the UK's biggest online retailers and discovered that many used excessive amounts of packaging.

Debenhams delivered a pen, which had its own box, in a bigger box with lots of bubble wrap.

House of Fraser sent one roll of wrapping paper in a large box wrapped in about eight metres of padding and two different kinds of bubble wrap.

A nail varnish from John Lewis came in a big box with a lot of padding.

When we contacted the companies they told us they are fully committed to reducing packaging - and that tens of thousands of tons has already been removed and more will be in future.

In response to ITV News' findings, Donna Hume from Friends of the Earth said, "This is a big environmental problem especially over the Christmas period in terms of the amount of waste energy, the amount of trees that are chopped down.

"There is so much more that retailers could be doing about it."