Packaging problems addressed
Figures revealing the average amount of waste created by parcel shipping have spurred The Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s logistics team, to address the growing problem. An average of 7.5 million plastic bags, 10 billion cardboard boxes and 17 billion meters of wrapping tape were used in 2015, with little being recycled and instead, being deposited in landfills. The team has come together with 6 other major Chinese logistics leaders and has so far invested $43.45 million into the research needed to tackle this issue.
Due to the ‘e-commerce boom’, solutions need to be found to offer sustainable alternatives to the current packaging. Cardboard can take hundreds of years to break down and release toxic fumes when burnt. A current solution involves setting up free recycling sites specifically for cardboard to be soaked with water to become pulp and restructured into paper for books, newspapers and magazines. Another solution would be to create packaging alternatives with a lower environmental impact that is low cost. If they are successful in their mission, it could further promote environmental protection and green logistics throughout the industry.
Find more information here.
The only sweater for you
‘Knit For You’ is a new concept being trialed by Adidas at a pop-up store in Berlin. It gives the consumer total control over the design, color and style of a sweater. After stepping into a body scanner, the sweater is knitted, washed and dried, all under 4 hours. It helps Adidas explore its desire to respond quicker to consumer demands. Instead of having to guess the new trend, the consumer makes the decision for them. Adidas hopes it will contribute to fewer items being reduced in price and returned. Furthermore, the company will continue to explore different concepts to improve a products’ time to market.
Adidas is determined to speed up the production of 50% of its products by 2020. The company has made several improvements to its operations in recent years, including the introduction of its Speedfactory and the expanded use of 3-D printing, however, this innovation is unlike any of the others. The automated customer-facing sweater service is now under evaluation and it is yet to be decided if this particular concept will be rolled out across its stores.
More information on the concept and Adidas’ goals can be found here.
Focus on reducing deforestation
12 representatives of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers have gathered to discuss the ending of deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. Non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace and governments of the Ivory Coast, Ghana and the UK, including many more, were also involved in the proceedings. Global demand for chocolate is causing devastating deforestation in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the two largest producers of cocoa beans accounting for 60% of total production. The Ivory Coast has currently lost almost half of its forest cover due to the industry’s actions.
Many of the companies involved have faced criticism over their ties to deforestation and human rights violations throughout the years. They must now create a formalized plan in order to create sustainable, well monitored practices. The plan will be announced in November at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany. It is hoped that tighter policing of rainforests, improved working conditions and incentives to grow higher-yield crops will be offered through the implementation of this plan. The UK will also offer its technical expertise to help pinpoint problems in the companies supply chains.
Read more on the pledge here.
Have a great weekend!
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