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Express delivery enterprises set green targets
Last Updated: 2018-05-25 13:37 | China Daily
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Cainiao Network Technology Co Ltd, the logistics affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has announced plans to make the nation's delivery services "green" by 2020.

It said that all of its delivery sheets, part of the 40 billion packages being used in China annually, would be made from renewable materials within the next three years, and it would promote the use of a paperless, electronic system for logging deliveries.

Cainiao also plans to lower its costs by reducing the distances its couriers travel by up to 30 percent through the use of real-time monitoring and algorithm-backed analysis.

Achieving such targets requires the combined efforts of Alibaba's various business units, said Cainiao President Wan Lin.

All packaging materials used by Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-consumer service, will be made from environmentally friendly materials by 2020, while customer-to-customer service Taobao and secondhand market Xian Yu will use green bags in their on-demand services across 200 cities.

Alibaba has also pledged to help one million mom-and-pop stores cut the materials they use for the storage of goods and transportation by 2020.

On the dining front, Ele.me is expected to launch a green alliance of food delivery services, and fresh food chain Hema will roll out more efficient logistics measures, but no specific details were given.

Express delivery companies handled 40 billion packages last year in China, an increase of 28 percent year-on-year, ranking top globally for the fourth consecutive year, according to the State Post Bureau.

Around 6.8 billion plastic bags and 330 million rolls of tape were used for express delivery in China in 2016, the bureau said in a report.

But less than 20 percent of packaging used in China is recycled, and almost all of the tape is discarded, said Zhu Lei, a green packaging specialist at Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication.

"In this context, companies have a critical role to play in promoting environmentally friendly express delivery, as the task requires constant financial and technological input," said Sun Kang, secretary-general of the China Express Association.

"This reflects the corporate social responsibilities of technology companies such as Alibaba."

E-commerce site Suning.com has planned to increase the number of recyclable boxes to 200,000 this year from 50,000 a year ago for the delivery of consumer electronics, maternal care products and fast-moving consumer goods, according to its president Hou Enlong.

A document released by the State Post Bureau last year said that by 2020, half of external packages should be degradable, 90 percent of bills electronic, and packaging for each parcel reduced by 10 percent.

Earlier this year, the Standardization Administration of China issued new guidelines that require packages for express delivery goods to be thinner and more recyclable effective from September.

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