Reusable delivery boxes could be cheaper, greener

Updated 2017-11-08 15:01:58 China Daily

The annual Singles Day shopping spree falls on Saturday. In order to avoid environmental pollution and save natural resources, several express delivery companies have opted for reusable plastic delivery boxes to replace the past one-time use boxes. Beijing News comments:

Pollution and waste have long been the two main problems of the domestic express delivery industry. Data show that in 2016 alone, domestic express delivery companies used 31.3 billion cardboard boxes for packaging purposes, which means as many as 72 million trees were cut down to produce the boxes.

That's why the idea of reusable plastic delivery boxes emerged. Compared with the cardboard boxes, the new ones will not only save resources but also produce less garbage.

Yet to popularize the use of reusable delivery boxes nationwide they will need to work out cheaper than the cardboard boxes used now. Also the packages tend to be sorted in quite a violent way, so they will need to be strong enough to protect the goods.

The first challenge has been met. Official data show that on average reusable delivery boxes cost about 25 yuan (.77) and can be reused 1,000 times. In other words, it costs less than 0.03 yuan for each delivery. That's much cheaper than the cardboard boxes, which are used only once.

To ensure that they can be used that many times, the delivery companies need to impress on their employees the need to avoid violent sorting. Besides, it might be necessary for them to give their employees an incentive to collect the reusable delivery boxes, as it means a little extra work for them.

With the reusable delivery boxes coming into use, more challenges can be expected. Yet it is necessary to encourage their use.

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