Julian Allen, Senior Research Fellow in Transport, was interviewed in an article for The Guardian about the negative effects of online shopping on the environment.
In the article, Allen says that we do not behave sensibly when shopping online, and online retailers do not encourage us to behave.
He adds that people are not prepared to wait and push for same-day delivery services. He said: “That tends to mean [that] stuff gets moved in smaller and smaller quantities. We have vehicles shooting all over the place making single deliveries.
“We have the concept of ‘free delivery’, which is a selling point for retailers, but it’s not really free in the sense of what it costs them and what it costs in environmental terms.”
Discussing the concerning environmental impact of the growth of food delivery services, he added: “It’s sheer inefficiency to move a single meal in a car or motorbike. Bicycles would help in terms of pollution, but the trend has to move away from bikes as these firms expand their networks, and it’s not viable.”