The United Nations University recently announced the world’s first "Regional E-Waste Detection" research report, which refers to the 12 Asian countries and regions that constitute the largest electronic consumer group, accounting for nearly half of the market. The number of discarded electronic products in East Asia and Southeast Asia, including the mainland, began in 2010. By 2015, it has grown by 63%, and the total amount of e-waste and per capita production have grown rapidly, exceeding population growth, putting pressure on the environment.
The report pointed out that technological innovation has accelerated the frequency of new product launches, especially the faster and faster replacement of portable electronic products, leading to a continuous increase in e-waste in Asia. United Nations researchers pointed out that for countries that deal with e-waste management infrastructure that is not environmentally friendly, the surge in e-waste is worrying.
Mainland has become the world's largest dumping ground for electronic waste
Researchers warned that improper and illegal e-waste dumping is widespread in most Asian countries and regions, but there is no legislation on e-waste. It is worth noting that the amount of e-waste generated in China in 2015 was 6.68 million tons.
The report believes that the lack of concepts, disposal sites, and recycling mechanisms for e-waste has caused consumers, dismantling dealers and recyclers to become the subjects of illegal dumping. If legislation or management is improper, e-waste will overflow.
Research data from the mainland also pointed out that the mainland is the world’s largest dump of electronic waste. 30% to 40% of the world’s electronic waste is transported to Asia, 70% to 80% of which is sent to the mainland, causing serious pollution to the local environment.
To this end, the mainland authorities have made improvements since 2016 to address the lack of e-waste regulations, weak recycling and processing technology, and lack of a sound recycling system, including clarifying the responsibility of the management unit, implementing the recycling responsibilities of electrical and electronic manufacturers, and focusing on resource reuse and e-waste disposal. Enterprises have introduced relevant policies and regulations to increase the recycling rate and harmless treatment of electronic waste.
According to the report, e-waste generally refers to electrical and electronic equipment that is discarded. E-waste contains a large number of harmful chemical elements, such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and heavy metals. If it is improperly recycled and exposed to pollutants, it will cause environmental pollution and The health of residents is threatened, and the digital age has exacerbated the spread of e-waste. Countries around the world are paying more and more attention to e-waste disposal and regard e-waste recycling and dismantling technologies as emerging industries.
Mainland express garbage is flooded, waste and pollution cannot be ignored
According to data released by the State Post Bureau, the volume of express delivery in 2016 was 31.35 billion, which was an increase of more than 50% from the 20.6 billion in 2015. It has increased by more than 50% every year for 6 consecutive years. Behind the bright statistics, there is a huge amount of garbage caused by express packaging. How to reduce packaging waste pollution and effectively recycle and reuse has become an urgent environmental protection problem.
The amount of consumables used in express packaging is even more alarming. Calculated on an average of 0.2 kg per parcel box, at least 627,000 tons of packaging boxes will be added in 2017, which can fill 310,000 football fields. In 2015, the total length of tape used for packaging alone is only It can circle the earth 425 times. However, with the exception of express delivery bills, mainland China lacks regulations and requirements for express packaging, which are all handled by enterprises or consumers themselves.
The increase in express delivery volume is the main reason for the explosion of packaging waste. For e-commerce, it is a consensus to reduce packaging materials, but in order to avoid disputes and return troubles caused by damaged goods during transportation, even if there are "three layers inside and three layers outside" Increasing protection will increase costs, and most of them still hold the mentality of "rather more than less", causing many packaging materials to weigh more than the product itself.
To reduce express delivery waste, it is obvious that e-commerce's sense of social responsibility is the key. However, the high cost of environmentally friendly packaging and the lack of standards for express packaging production and use have indirectly affected the proliferation of express packaging waste. In terms of plastic bags, a non-decomposable RMB 0.08 yuan, but the decomposable price is 4 to 5 times that, so that companies often can not afford to purchase.
Consumers’ low environmental awareness is also a problem. Some e-commerce and courier companies have initiated recycling packages to exchange points, and points are exchanged for gift ideas to increase consumers’ willingness to recycle. There are also local governments that promote apps that provide online appointments for recycling waste products, and some people come to collect them. However, in addition to cartons, the recycling and reuse of packaging materials such as tape, packaging boxes, and woven bags are not ideal.
In order to solve the problem of express packaging garbage, many express delivery companies have stepped up to respond, in addition to strengthening recycling packaging and garbage classification promotion; replacing traditional woven bags with reusable canvas bags or plastic transfer boxes; and adopting reusable bags for cartons, file seals, waybills, and stickers. Decompose materials and reduce waste.
Industry insiders believe that to solve the packaging waste problem, the problem of increased costs must be solved first. Different entities need to share the cost of environmental protection improvement, including national policy support, enterprises and logistics subsidies, and consumers should also bear part of the cost.