(Yicai Global) June 14 -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s [NYSE:BABA] logistics arm plans to start using more environmentally friendly packaging materials in response to mounting criticism about the amount and type of waste generated by China's e-commerce boom.
Cainiao Network Technology Co. will launch a 'Green Action Campaign' with 32 Chinese and global partners in the Green Alliance group, pledging that half of packaging materials will be replaced by 2020, and that 100 percent of padding will be biodegradable, Chairman Zhang Yong said on June 13.
Cainiao claims it is the largest ever joint environmental campaign organized by a logistics company anywhere in the world.
Last year, 20.67 billion parcels were delivered in China, up from 14 billion in 2014, according to statistics published by the State Post Bureau. Assuming an average weight of 0.2 kilograms, 20 billion parcels create over four million tons of waste. It is estimated that 2.96 billion plastic woven bags were used last year, 8.26 billion plastic bags, 9.9 billion packing boxes, 16.95 billion meters of tape, and 2.97 billion impact-resistant buffers. Tape is mostly made of PVC, which does not degrade even after 100 years buried underground, causing irreversible damage to local ecosystems.
Members of the Green Alliance include China Post, Russian Post, Canada Post, FedEx, Singapore Post and some other leading logistics enterprises in China and worldwide.
Set up in 2013, Cainiao has set itself the goal of delivering parcels to any part of China within 24 hours in the next five to eight years. As of March 14, it has raised a total of more than CNY10 billion. Alibaba holds a 47 percent stake.