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Does REI have plans for more sustainable packaging in the future?

I was curious if REI has started looking into better sustainable options for packaging? With the pandemic I find myself like most ordering more online. I know there are a lot of companies trying to find better eco friendly packaging but there is still so much plastic and even worse so many people that don't know/care about how to deal with their packaging.

I usually have things shipped to my local REI and pickup in person. I understand the reason for my items still being in their shipping packaging but after ordering a handful of items over two orders I walked out of the store with a single item in each package. It seems really excessive. If something is being shipped to REI for pickup there could be a better reusable option.

All that being said I don't know if REI has a suggestion box of sorts but if so I'd love to make someone in Sustainability aware of this option if they haven't seen it yet. I've stumbled on the RePack reusable shipping solution. I'd love to be able to get my REI/REI Used items through this service. It's great that you can just ship the packaging back to the main hub for sanitizing but also would love if it could be dropped off in store too. It seems to me like REI is a good company looking for ways to do better and thought I'd offer this little bit of info to maybe get the ball rolling on thinking of better ways to work with packaging.

5 Replies


Thanks for reaching out and welcome to the community!

For years REI has been working to design and implement sustainable options for packaging and reduce our waste across our operations. We encourage you to read more about it in our Sustainable Packaging and Reducing Waste section of our annual Stewardship Report. Additionally, you can take a look at our REI Sustainable Packaging Guidelines which were published with assistance from  the Outdoor Industry Association and Sustainable Packaging Coalition. We are also connecting with the broader industry to use the How2Recycle Label, which helps consumers understand what options they have for recycling their packaging when they are done with it.

Thank you for providing your feedback and suggestions for ways to improve. We will make sure to pass them along to our sustainability team!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks so much I'll check these out.

I read with interest this posting since I just received a package from REI in a plastic bag non-recyclable in my area with the item inside a cardboard box.  As an ethical standard bearer for environmentally minded companies I think REI needs to do better.  I have been a long time REI member, but I think REI needs to use it's market power to push outdoor equipment manufacturer's to stop using plastic packaging as much as possible.  Just walk around an REI store and look at all the pieces of plastic that are really just about sales and marketing and have nothing to do with the product itself.  Trying to recycle as an individual is not the answer.  Corporations including REI must take responsibility for the amount of non or poorly recyclable material we are overwhelming our world with.  I know REI can do better.  Thanks!


I also am concerned with the plastic bag items are mailed in, they are not recyclable in our area, if at all.  This seems inconsistent with REI’s values.  



Thank you for reaching out and for your concern around the use of plastic bags used for shipping. We encourage you to take a look at the linked articles above from our annual Stewardship Report. REI's Sustainable Packaging guidelines and Eliminating Waste both contain good information on this topic and highlight REI's efforts to reduce waste in our operations.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.