Home LanguageEnglish Taiwan Adds 10,000 Metric Tons of Online Shopping Waste Packaging Every Year

Taiwan Adds 10,000 Metric Tons of Online Shopping Waste Packaging Every Year

by Irma Katherine

With the rise of online shopping, the packaging materials and shipping cartons of goods have increased, and human consumption behavior is bringing more pollution and threats to the environment.

Online shopping trends have led to a massive increase in waste packaging. (Photo via Pexels.com)

Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) – Did you participate in online shopping on Double 11 and Black Friday? In Taiwan, the transaction volume of almost every e-commerce platform in this year’s shopping season has grown substantially. With the increase in transaction volume, cartons printed with the online shopping platform LOGO can be seen everywhere on the road. Online shopping brings more online shopping waste packaging to the environment.

According to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, online sales have soared this year, and the transaction volume in the second quarter of this year increased by 30% compared to the second quarter of last year. In the second half of the year, online purchases increased sharply due to promotional discounts on Double 11, Black Friday, Double 12, and Christmas.

With the substantial increase in online shopping transactions, waste packaging has also appeared in large numbers, such as Plastic bags, Bubble wraps, Styrofoam, Paper bags, Cartons, etc., which are common garbage. According to statistics, from 2019 to 2020, Taiwan’s online shopping waste packaging has grown from 30,000 metric tons to 40,000 metric tons; there are no latest statistics in 2021, but the number is expected only to increase and not decline.

To protect the goods to maintain a certain degree of safety during transportation, sellers usually do not only use one packaging bag. When we receive the package, we usually open the carton first. There are many cushioning materials on it. The real product may need to open 1 to 2 bags before it appears. Some of these packaging bags can be recycled, but most of them are made of plastic, which is very unfriendly to the environment.

Most packages are discarded after only one use. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

To reduce packaging, the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan launched a recycling packaging plan last year, but only 5% of the packages used recycled packaging, and 25% of the packaging was successfully recycled. The effect was not obvious. The main reason is that consumers need to take the initiative to recycle packaging, but most people are not aware of this plan.

This year, the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan, expanded the scale of the recycling packaging program. There are already online shopping platforms that provide consumers with the option of “recycling packaging.” Some businesses even offer discounts to attract consumers to recycle packaging, hoping to reduce waste packaging effectively.

PackAge+, the manufacturer of recycled packaging, said: “The quality of recycled packaging is also very important. The market has developed eco-friendly bags that can be used 50 times and eco-friendly boxes that can be used 30 times. If consumers are willing to recycle, they only need to use it about 15 times. It can reduce packaging costs by about 10%.”

As long as the recycling packaging is used multiple times, the cost can be reduced. This seems to be a good way to reduce waste and save costs, but it requires the cooperation of consumers. On the other hand, many people pick up the goods through convenience stores and management rooms, and it is not easy to recycle the packaging. Therefore, how to achieve a win-win situation for the economy and the environment is a topic that everyone must pay attention to.

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