The surge in online shopping during lockdown has caused a national shortage in cardboard with retailers now struggling to meet delivery orders.
E-commerce giants, such as Amazon, have been buying up huge supplies of cardboard, industry experts have said.
This has caused a shortfall among smaller online retailers.
The lack of cardboard has hit wine deliveries particularly hard with many owners experiencing a huge rise in delivery orders, following the closure of pubs and restaurants.
The Oxford and Cambridge Club, a private members’ club in London said they could not deliver wine on time because of the “unexpected” shortage of cardboard.
Wanderlust Wine in London said they were forced to buy unbranded boxes “to get us through”.
Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, told The Times: “Home delivery is sucking the cardboard from the system because there is such phenomenal demand.
“Products are flying through the post, the ‘Amazon effect’ as I call it, and where 10 toys would be packed into one box and sent to a shop, they are now individually packaged and sent to people’s homes. We need to be good recyclers and get it all back in our recycling bin.”
Amazon has said it was not experiencing shortages. “We work with suppliers throughout the year to forecast and manage our packaging needs.”
Supermarkets also suffered with a rise in egg sales causing a shortage in cardboard pulp for boxes.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and ASDA have had to temporarily use plastic boxes in place of cardboard packaging for their products.