Remove the tape, open the carton, tear off the wrapping paper and plastic film and throw it away. This process of unpacking the express delivery has long been familiar to us, and we can do it smoothly. But where did the courier package that was removed at hand? What kind of impact will a large amount of disposable plastic and paper enter the environment?
my country is the world's largest express delivery country. In 2019, the national express delivery business volume exceeded 63 billion pieces. According to preliminary estimates, my country’s express delivery industry generates more than 9 million tons of paper waste and about 1.8 million tons of plastic waste each year. The tape consumed in a year can wrap the earth thousands of times, and these numbers are still growing rapidly.
Strengthening the standardization of express green packaging and properly handling the pollution problem of express packaging has become an inherent requirement for the transformation and upgrading of the industry and sustainable development. Recently, the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration revealed that in the next three years, my country will accelerate the standardization of green express packaging, accelerate the conversion of new materials, technologies, and products related to express packaging into standards, and continue to improve the coordinating and supporting express delivery of standards and laws and policies. Green packaging governance system.
Making express packaging greener and thinner has become the common goal of the industry
There are three major requirements for express packaging management: green, reduced, and recyclable. In June this year, the State Post Bureau issued the "Green Packaging Standards for Express Mail", emphasizing that the green packaging of mail express adheres to the work objectives of standardization, reduction and recyclability, strengthens coordination with upstream and downstream, pays attention to saving resources, eliminates excessive packaging, and avoids waste and waste. Pollution of the environment and a series of specific requirements for green packaging: In principle, the void ratio of express mail packaging should not exceed 20%; shipping companies should fully promote the use of electronic waybills, especially one-piece electronic waybills; use "one" type packaging The length of the packaging box used in this way is not more than 1.5 times the maximum integrated internal size; the number of cycles of recyclable container bags is not less than 50 times; the shipping companies actively promote the application of suspended fastening packaging to reduce the use of fillers; Based on the principles of environmental protection and economy, reasonably determine the packaging materials and packaging methods to ensure the safety of delivery and avoid excessive packaging.
Chen Hongjun, deputy director of the Standards and Technology Management Department of the State Administration for Market Regulation, said that at present, major express companies, express packaging manufacturers, and e-commerce platforms are actively carrying out innovative exploration of express green packaging, such as JD’s "Qingliu Plan" and SF Express. Innovative results such as new materials, new products and new models of express packaging have emerged one after another.
According to Duan Yanjian, head of JD Logistics’ Qingliu plan, Qingliu Plan is a joint action for green supply chain initiated by JD Logistics, Procter & Gamble and Nestlé on June 15, 2017. It mainly includes 4 aspects: green packaging and green packaging. Shipping and distribution, green warehousing and green recycling. Take the recycling express box "Qingliu Box" as an example. The Qingliu box is made of reusable materials, and the box can be recycled for more than 20 times under normal circumstances, and it can be "rebuilt" after it is damaged. It does not need tape for packaging, and can be recycled without generating any disposable packaging waste. It has been used for more than 12 million times.
"Slimer and greener" has become a common goal of related industries and enterprises. According to Ling Yunfei, deputy dean of the Suning Logistics Research Institute, Suning Logistics officially launched the green packaging exploration in 2014, including packaging recycling, electronic face sheets, one-sheets, slimming tape, 3D packing, and shared express boxes. Series of initiatives. Up to now, Suning Logistics and Tiantian Express have achieved nearly 100% penetration rate of electronic face orders across the country; tape reduction, reduced filling materials and other green reduced packaging have achieved 100% coverage; shared express box as an innovation of Suning Logistics’ green recycling packaging As a benchmark product, the cumulative number of products put in the country exceeded 400,000, and the cumulative number of products put in and used in a year exceeded 100 million. The tape saved can go around the earth 3.74 times.
Lack of hard standards and high costs hinder greening
It is undeniable that although various e-commerce platforms and express companies are actively promoting green express packaging, in daily life, green express boxes, recyclable packaging, packaging recycling boxes, etc. are still hard to find.
"Currently, there are two main ways to sign for shared express boxes promoted by Suning Logistics nationwide. One is the courier and the consumer face-to-face, and the shared express box after use is brought back to the site by the courier for recycling; the second is after the user agrees. , The courier puts the shared courier box at Suning self-pickup point and other places. After the user picks up the courier, the self-pickup staff will temporarily store the shared courier box, and then the courier will collect it in a unified manner.” Ling Yunfei frankly said, two There are unavoidable promotion problems in all methods. For example, when the user is unable to face-to-face, it will increase the secondary delivery tasks of the courier; the density of offline collection points is low, and the turnover rate needs to be further improved; the use of shared express box packaging products is limited and private products Cannot be used temporarily; shared courier box size adaptation issues, etc. The "contactless delivery service" implemented during the epidemic has also further increased the difficulty of the distribution and recycling of shared express boxes.
Duan Yanjian also believes that after so many years of development, the green process of the logistics and express delivery industry has achieved certain results, but it still faces several problems and difficulties. "The existing packaging standards for the express delivery industry are all recommended standards, and the implementation effect is not good. This has caused the green and standardized development of enterprises to be just a kind of "good awareness and high quality". Low-standard materials flood the market and the cost of environmentally friendly materials is high. Companies that use green packaging and companies that are still extensively packaged compete in the same market environment. The increase in environmental protection costs in various aspects will result in lower corporate benefits, which is unfair to green development companies.” He said, “Commodities are in the transportation process. There are phenomena such as violent loading and unloading, sorting, etc., which makes e-commerce and logistics companies have to choose high-weight cartons and use layers of tape wrapping to reduce the damage to the goods in the logistics environment. The social recycling system is not sound, and the enterprises are alone in recycling. Logistics costs are high."
In addition, the increase in public awareness of green packaging is obvious to all, but there is a certain gap in action and awareness. "Take the Qingliu box as an example. The greenliu box needs to be recycled at the end. The user does not understand the recycling. They think that the general express delivery is packaged, and how can they be recycled back? Therefore, it will give a bad review and affect the operating company. The enthusiasm of putting into use." Duan Yanjian said.
All parties need to coordinate governance and improve the social recycling system
A small package of express delivery affects government agencies, express companies, e-commerce platforms, consumers and other subjects, and links up and down the chain of material research and development, design, production, use, and recycling management, and is closely related to everyone's living environment.
This puts forward higher requirements for the popularization and collaborative governance of express green packaging. Chen Hongjun said that it is necessary to strengthen the overall coordination of the whole process of the standard, jointly carry out the evaluation of the implementation effect of the green express packaging standard with relevant departments, and continuously improve the interconnected, collaborative and efficient standard implementation supervision mechanism. "According to our understanding, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has already made the express delivery green The application of packaging standards is included in the pilot evaluation of the "Waste Free City", making the express delivery green packaging standard an important indicator for the construction of a "Waste Free City."
"From the perspective of socialization, it is far from possible to rely on one or two companies for recycling. It is necessary to establish a social recycling mechanism, centralized and large-scale recycling, so as to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and form a virtuous cycle. Duan Yanjian said that, in detail, first, the government or a third-party platform is required to take the lead in establishing a more complete social recycling system, to realize the combination of community recycling and recycling companies, and e-commerce logistics companies to form a complete recycling packaging recycling system; It is possible to consider implementing a recycle packaging deposit system to encourage consumers to take the initiative to participate, and the deposit will be automatically returned after the collection is completed, so as to increase the turnover rate of recycle packaging and reduce business operating costs.
Ling Yunfei proposed that through the joint express industry, the recovery of offline self-pickup points can be opened up, which can further improve the recovery turnover rate of express return boxes and recyclable packaging while making it convenient for users.
More importantly, green environmental protection is not only a matter for the government and enterprises, but also a matter for the whole society, which concerns every citizen. In this regard, Duan Yanjian suggested: “Strengthen publicity, enhance national awareness of environmental protection and common sense of garbage classification, make the use of green packaging a social consensus, and promote the construction of green and environmental protection in the express industry.” (Reporter Cui Shuang)