Chinese delivery companies pledge to tackle excess packaging waste

Updated 2017-05-31 09:31:20 CGTN

The popularity of online shopping has exploded in China. The Ministry of Commerce said on Monday that the country's e-commerce trade volume in 2016 hit 26.1 trillion yuan (3.8 trillion U.S. dollars) accounting for 39.2 percent of the global total.

Needless to say that's an awful lot of parcels. The State Post Bureau estimates that around 30 billion were delivered to homes across the country last year. And the adhesive tape used to wrap them could wrap around the Earth around 750 times.

Whoever worked out that statistic is a mystery but you might well be thinking what a waste of tape!

Actually, tape is just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic bags, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap...Most of these things can't be reused and are simply thrown into the trash.

The State Post Bureau estimates that package waste in 2016 amounted to around six million tons, the equivalent of the garbage generated by a major Chinese city.

Now the delivery industry in China is set to tackle this problem by replacing current packaging with a recyclable alternative.

But the process isn't easy. Very few express companies are prepared to spend the extra on recyclable packaging, which can be four to five times more expensive. Another problem is that companies tend to over-package goods to ensure a safe delivery.

Cainiao, the express company union created by e-commerce giant Alibaba, has pledged to replace half of its packaging by 2020. The State Post Bureau has also requested creating a recycling system for express packages by the same time.

CEO of Cainiao Tong Wenhong said that the key to solving this problem is industry standards.

Proper standards can prevent companies from "over-packaging", and help calculate the right costs for materials.

With China's online shopping market growing by the day, the pressure is really on for delivery companies to address the issue of waste.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58July 16 2018 20:37:42

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16July 16 2018 20:37:42

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18July 16 2018 20:37:42

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords