Major Chinese express delivery companies and e-commerce platforms are taking active measures in reducing the
use of packaging materials, while a complete packaging garbage recycling industry chain and a more powerful
regulation are still needed to green the industry.
They are giving recyclable packaging boxes to their clients for free. After the parcels are delivered in the hands of clients, the boxes are free for use next time," he said.
They have adopted a total of over 100,000 such boxes in domestic first-tier cities and some second-tier cities, in order to replace paper boxes and plastic bags and to reduce the consumption of foam blocks and tape.
Such efforts are a response to the country's call for green development of the logistics industry.
Yiwu is only a third-tier city with about 2.2 million population but its status as the world's largest wholesale market of small commodities makes it rank top 3 in terms of the number of packages delivered. Data from the city showed that in the first seven months of this year, nearly 2.3 billion packages were sent from and to Yiwu, up 76 percent year-on- year.
Complete industry chain
But there are obstacles impeding the promotion of recycling packaging bags and boxes, as the parcels are delivered
to millions of households and as a result collecting packages is a huge project, Liu Jianxin, a director at the China
Society of Logistics, told the Global Times.
The green development of the sector requires cooperation among the upstream and downstream industries, including factories, e-commerce platforms, couriers and consumers, Liu said. "A complete industry chain needs to be set up," he said.
Even package boxes can be recycled, they may already have been heavily taped up or severely damaged and therefore can't be reused without large costs for further processing, Liu said, noting that professional companies are needed to process the recollected boxes.
More efforts needed
Compared with packaging recycling, a better solution is using degradable plastic bags, but the cost is a little bit high,
Li Erqiao, general manager of Soton Daily Necessities Co, a plastics drinking straw company based in Yiwu, told the Global Times on Thursday that the cost of degradable plastics is about four to five times that of polypropylene (PP) plastics. If companies plan to completely replace PP plastic bags, their cost would increase a lot, he said.
Besides, various local governments also step up the promotion of green development of the industry. South China's Hainan Province recently announced it is mulling to release more measures to boost green packaging and strengthen supervision and management.