Sustainable in Beijing is our semi-regular column about sustainable lifestyle events and green news in Beijing. See more of our coverage here.
Express Delivery Companies Team Up for a “Green Action Initiative”
How many times have you heard the joke, “Everything’s on Taobao … except for your mother?” Well this, along with other mobile shopping apps, have made buying things very convenient and cheap, especially when we’re so busy with the pace of our own lives.
You may have encountered a constant stream of kuaidi (delivery) guys knocking on the door of your home or office. Or perhaps your office corner is full of untidily stacked empty delivery packages. Just seeing these can make you realize the harsh reality of the convenience and instant gratification brought about by the mobile shopping phenomenon, and sadly it’s Mother Nature that’s suffering.
In fact, around 150 million parcels are being delivered by around 3 million kuaidi drivers in China every day. So think about it: what are we going to do with all the waste? And where are we putting the plastic packaging and boxes?
Earlier this month, China’s major delivery service companies and the China Environmental Protection Foundation formed an alliance and launched the “China Express Green Book”, a “green action initiative” that promotes collaboration in the production of environmentally-friendly packaging materials, as well as building green logistics and involving everyone in waste segregation.
Members of the community:
In China, more than 150 million parcels are being dispatched everyday by more than three million express delivery personnel on the streets. To make every package green is not just a matter of one department, one city, or one enterprise. It needs government support, industrial cooperation, enterprise innovation, public participation and multi-governance. To this end, we jointly propose:
– Promoting green material innovation
– Merchants promoting environment-friendly packaging
– Adopting clean distribution
– Improving infrastructure, such as setting up as courier stations
– Involving everyone to participate in garbage segregation
The China Environmental Protection Foundation said the initiative “will help promote the formation of green development methods and lifestyles, and create an atmosphere in which the whole society can save resources and protect the environment.”
The alliance also launched a couple of projects, including a “Return Box Plan” to recycle carton parcels and the “China Express Green Innovation Lab.”
It’s unclear when the initiative will be put into action. But still, it’s great news for environment protection, so we’ll keep an eye out for updates from this alliance.
What to Do with Express Package Plastic?
Speaking of recycling, there are a lot of ways to make use of those delivery parcels. The bigger boxes that I collected now contain my winter coat, and other unused attire ready for donation.
But what about the plastic bags?
On March 16 (Saturday), a panel of environmentalists and members of the Global Shapers Community Beijing will gather at Gung Ho! Pizza in Sanlitun to talk about what we can do about the glut of delivery plastics. To give you an idea, China generates between 7-8 million plastic bags for fast-delivery parcels every year. We better turn them into something useful!
The Eco-Art Challenge begins with two seminars on the nature of plastic waste in China and how we can use art and technology to deal with the issue. The main session will be the launch of the “challenge” – living plastic free for one week or beyond.
After these activities, participants will together create an art piece that addresses this environmental issue.
See the whole agenda and speakers’ profiles here.
Additional reporting and translation by Grace Zhang
Photos: Andy Penafuerte, sohu.com, poster courtesy of Global Shapers Community Beijing