Online Shopping is becoming more and more popular in this era. The convenience it offers and the variety of products and services that can be seen online make most people want to try it out. If you live in China, you probably know that sky is the limit with Taobao (the biggest e-commerce site in China). You can find almost anything you need on there (even pets), all from the comfort of your home! But there is a price to pay for that comfort. E-commerce and freight generate a massive amount of packaging waste and air pollution. Industry experts are trying to find a solution.
According to Maxime van’t Klooster, general manager at Shanghai-based management consultancy 1421, delivery packaging is accounting for 93 per cent of solid waste growth in China’s megacities. Not to mention that delivery trucks are contributing to more than three quarters of harmful particulate matter released into the atmosphere, despite the fact that they make up less than 10 per cent of all automotives in China, said Wang Boyong, strategic partnerships director of Smart Freight Centre, a non-profit.
To keep to a 2°C temperature rise scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Smart Freight Centre estimates China would need to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050. (See graph below)
Good news is that the industry players are already developing technology that offers solutions and the logistics sector is embracing new digital supply chain tools.
Some Chinese delivery companies, such as Meituan-Dianping, have already implemented the latest technologies. The company?almost doubled the efficiency of its service after digitizing?its dispatch system by using machine learning.
Another good example is Cainiao, the logistics affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba. The company plans to use artificial intelligence and algorithms to enhance material recycling, packaging, route planning and delivery methods by 2020.
There is also one more method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and over-flowing dumping grounds, and it can be even more effective than above mentioned technologies -urge people to refrain from over-buying. In a country where 80 per cent of waste goes to landfill, 60 per cent of Chinese consumers admit buying products they do not need, according to Greenpeace investigation in 2017.