Environmental tax on e-commerce. Wait, what pollution?

Recently, Flemish MP Grete Remen suggested in an opinion piece that there should be an environmental tax on e-commerce. After all, e-commerce is a polluting activity according to the opinion piece. We would like to take a closer look at this, as we do have a slightly different opinion.

Transportation & environment

Let's take a closer look at logistics transportation right away. Many packages are indeed delivered to homes, but does this necessarily mean that all the known couriers are on the road for an e-commerce order, and are they effectively more polluting than the traditionally known alternative?

Dutch research indicates that of all vans, 35 to 50% are used for freight logistics. Only 2 to 3% of all vans are involved in delivering e-commerce packages. So no, not every van that passes on your street is related to e-commerce. (Source)


In addition, professional transportation fleets are subject to very strict environmental regulations. These fleets are often much greener than private fleets. In addition, package suppliers must meet a variety of eco-standards for their fleets. They often even go a step further to bring their fleet's emissions down even more.

On average there are 180 packages in one van, that's 180 individual trips saved. And could this be even better, of course! The 2 half-full delivery trucks that pass through now on 1 day could ideally be combined. But don't forget that e-commerce is a relatively young market, often ecologically far ahead of many traditional markets today.

Currently, many green initiatives are emerging such as bicycle deliveries, eco-cars being deployed, urban distribution. Super initiatives, which will continue to develop and contribute to reducing the footprint of e-commerce.

bicycle courier

BME & environment

As a young company, we also try to do our part. We know all the dimensions of our customers' products, so the smallest possible box is automatically chosen when an order is placed. In this way we avoid the useless use of boxes that are too large and we limit the use of filling material.

On top of that, all these used packaging materials are recycled. Can we do better, too? Sure we can! But we too have only been in business for a few years and are making all these efforts without any support from any public agency.



We dare to say, hand on heart, that e-commerce is a young sector, very much committed to ecological improvements and often already doing much better than the traditional alternatives.

"A local tax in a European story, in our opinion, has the effect that at the end of the day the consumer will pay this and even increases the stress on employment."

Why are we not thinking positively? How can the government fuel initiatives to make the ecological footprint of a young sector with many young companies even smaller? How can we as a sector take initiatives together instead of everyone staying on their island? Is it desirable that consumers continue to expect very flexible distribution or can we create more awareness here as well? Ecology is a socially relevant issue that you don't solve with taxes and individual initiatives!

If you have a different opinion, we would love to hear it on our Facebook post about it. Because our opinion is only one opinion and we too are learning every day.




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