November 11 in China marks the annual Singles’ Day, which is intended to be a day in which single people celebrate being single. The festival has become a bit like Black Friday in that retailers sell tons of items at a discount and this year several Chinese firms have outlined plans to also be a bit greener.
Three major online retailers, Alibaba, Suning and JD.com, have confirmed that they plan to make their packaging a bit more eco-friendly. Suning has launched reusable packaging for express deliveries in 13 cities; now items will be shipped in collapsible plastic boxes that can be used over and over up to 1,000 times. They’re priced at $3.75 each and the company hopes to have 200,000 consumers of the new box by 2020.
JD.com has announced that it will reduce the width of the tape that it uses to package its items and that it’ll start using biodegradable glues. The new tapes shave eight millimetres off the width, bringing it down to 45mm. Alibaba will also ship its products in containers made of easy-to-recycle and biodegradable materials for packaging.
In China, Singles’ Day is massive, to say the least. Estimates suggest that the sales volume on November 11 in China is almost three time as big as Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This year, Alibaba is promising to list 15 million products from more than 140,000 different brands.
The State Post Bureau (SPB) is expecting 1.5 billion packages to be delivered between November 11-16, a rise of 35 percent from the previous year. As you can imagine, the sheer amount of rubbish that will be thrown away in the coming days is a huge reason for these online retailers to sort their acts out and get more environmentally friendly.