How China’s express delivery sector is “going green"

According to forecasts from the State Post Bureau, the volume of express deliveries in China will exceed 80 billion packages this year. How can China’s express delivery sector sustain its rapid growth and still be “green”?

Postal and express delivery companies across the country handled 3.965 billion express parcels during the Singles Day shopping festival from Nov. 1 to 11 this year. On Nov. 11 alone, the number of express parcels reached 675 million, an increase of 26.2 percent over the same period last year and a new record high. 

Staff members sort parcels at a distribution center of E-commerce giant in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Peng Ziyang)

Next to the express delivery station at the west gate of the Communication University Of China, there is a recycling bin for express packaging. During this year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, many students put their boxes into the recycling bins after unpacking them on the spot. 

If any of the goods needed to be returned, the students could ask the staff for the recycled boxes free of charge.

“Now that we have a recycling bin, after picking the goods up, we can recycle the packaging directly, which can also count as making some contribution to environmental protection,” said Chen Yue, a junior at Communication University Of China.

Presently, China Post has set up packaging waste recycling devices in more than 11,000 business outlets. SF Express, a Chinese delivery company, has set up standard express packaging waste recycling devices in 18,000 outlets, enabling recycling to be carried out in 40 areas.

In addition to the recycling of express boxes, reducing excessive packaging used in express deliveries is another focus of the sector’s efforts to “go green”.

This year, the State Post Bureau proposed a new project: China will seek to reduce the use of packaging tape, avoid secondary packaging for e-commerce express deliveries, increase the use of recyclable transfer bags, and add new postal delivery outlets equipped with standard packaging waste recycling devices, according to Hou Yanbo, deputy director of the office of the State Post Bureau.

Furthermore, the State Administration for Market Regulation and the State Post Bureau have also proactively promoted the establishment of a green product certification system for express packaging, so as to push forward the industry’s green development.

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