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China fighting packaging consequences of e-commerce boom

Asia – Some 31.3 billion parcels were shipped across the country in 2015 – a year-on-year increase of more than 50%, according to data from China’s State Post Bureau. And in response to the rapidly-growing packaging waste stream generated by the nation’s flourishing e-commerce sector, China’s Cainiao Network has set up the Cainiao Green Alliance Foundation.

Some 7.5 billion plastic bags, 10 billion cardboard boxes and 17 billion metres of wrapping tape were used to ship China’s parcels in 2015. ‘In China, an average of 57 million packages were delivered each day in 2015 – compared to the US average of 35 million,’ reports the Cainiao Network.

It estimates this figure will reach 145 million by 2020. In a bid to curb the growth of the e-commerce waste mountain, the network has pledged to invest Yuan 300 million (US$ 43 million) in research to ensure environmentally-friendly practices throughout the logistics supply chain.

Additionally, it will help in the development of innovative packaging while providing delivery vehicles with sustainable energy as well as using big data to optimise resources.

Shipping companies as well as governments and other stakeholders have a responsibility to take the lead in promoting environmental protection and ‘green logistics’, notes the Cainiao Network’s chairwoman Judy Tong.

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