Research on Recycling of Logistics Packaging and Sustainable Development of Environment

Absrtact: with the prevalence of e-commerce, the problem of waste of resources caused by logistics, express delivery and packaging is becoming more and more prominent. Packaging waste in logistics express delivery industry has become one of the main sources of garbage in today’s cities, causing serious pollution to the environment. At the same time, the country is also vigorously advocating the strategy of sustainable development. The recycling of packaging materials not only conforms to this strategy, but also maximizes economic and environmental benefits. However, at present, the cost of recycling packaging waste is relatively high and the utilization rate is very low. Therefore, while promoting the recycling of packaging materials, it is also necessary to reduce the cost of recycling and increase its utilization rate. This paper analyzes the current situation of logistics packaging recycling, finds out the causes, and then puts forward corresponding development suggestions for the current problems of logistics packaging recycling.

Research on Recycling of Logistics Packaging and Sustainable Development of Environment
Research on Recycling of Logistics Packaging and Sustainable Development of Environment

Key words: packaging; Packaging waste; Recycling logistics; Green packaging

First: Overview of Recycling Logistics Recycling logistics refers to the physical flow of articles formed by the return of unqualified articles from the demander to the supplier, the return of unqualified articles and the turnover of packaging containers. The recycling of these articles is always accompanied by logistics activities. If such products are not properly treated and recycled, not only will the entire ecological environment be affected, but also the quality of the products will be affected, reducing the use efficiency of space, resulting in a large amount of waste. For example, waste loading tools, leftover materials and surplus materials produced in industrial production, and packaging materials produced in product logistics.

Second:The current situation of China’s logistics packaging problems The development of major e-commerce enterprises is in full swing. Online shopping has become an important consumption activity in people’s life. According to the data released by the relevant departments of the state, on the day of the 11th of the 12th of 2015, major e-commerce enterprises generated nearly 500 million orders. Nearly 200 million express packages need to be processed throughout the day. It is estimated that the volume of mail handled during this period will reach 780 million pieces and the daily maximum volume will reach 160 million pieces. Most people throw away the package directly after using it once and do not reuse it again, which pollutes the environment and wastes resources. How to deal with the waste of the package has become a difficult problem for people.
During the “Double Eleven” period every year, the number of packages bought online is also setting a new record with the turnover, but the following is not only the economic growth driven by consumption, but also the problems. With the rapid growth of express delivery volume, our use of express packages is also on the rise, which also means that over 100 million packages of packaging cartons will be “used once”, not to mention all kinds of unrecoverable shockproof fillers and a large number of express bags. This is also seriously inconsistent with China’s sustainable development strategy.

1. It is difficult to recycle the packaging materials The plastic bags and packaging materials in the hands of consumers are very scattered, which makes recycling and reuse difficult and costly. To recycle these packaging materials, the most useful method is to effectively collect, classify and treat the garbage. In more advanced countries such as Germany, the United States and Japan, there have been large-scale and industrialized recycling procedures for packaging waste. For example, the recovery rate of German corrugated waste paper has reached more than 90%, and the annual income from recycling packaging waste in the United States has reached 4 billion US dollars. However, in our country, except for glass, paper and plastic products, the recovery rate for other items is still very low and has not reached the required scale.

2. Logistics enterprises are not active in packaging recycling At present, the lack of awareness and awareness of recycling among suppliers, express delivery companies, express delivery personnel and consumers in China is also an important factor that makes it difficult to recycle packaging materials in China. At the same time, the promotion of green consumption started relatively late, and green consumption has not yet formed a fashion, which is also an important reason affecting the recovery rate of our country. In our country, most enterprises only pursue their own economic benefits, but despise social benefits and environmental benefits. People’s lack of awareness of recycling resources has led to great resistance to the recycling of packaging waste. On the other hand, although some enterprises realize the importance of recycling logistics for economic benefits and environmental protection, due to the wide scope, many fields and insufficient direct economic benefits of recycling logistics, such recycling logistics are not paid attention to, thus making people unable to fully understand recycling logistics.

3. China’s recycling mechanism for waste packaging materials is not perfect.
At present, China has not set up a perfect mechanism for recycling waste packaging materials, and lacks guidance and incentive mechanism for logistics enterprises, suppliers and consumers to get involved. At the level of the national government, our country’s regulations in this area are still lacking. Compared with developed countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan, our country has no corresponding restraint system, resulting in chaos and waste of resources in the logistics packaging recycling industry. Only in some laws and regulations that regulate the express delivery industry are involved, such as: Guidelines for Operation of Express Delivery Business, Measurement Methods of Greenhouse Gas Emission from Express Delivery Service, etc.

4. It is difficult to process and reuse the recovered packaging materials.
Some packaging materials with adhesive backing are stuck together with plastic bags, which is difficult to separate. The quality of the plastic bags produced will be affected if they are produced again. Suppliers can give more consideration to the design of product packaging. In the packaging process, some separation designs are added for production and supply to facilitate classification and recovery, so as to carry out processing and reuse and improve the utilization rate.

Third:packaging waste recycling logistics development suggestions The growth of China’s logistics enterprises is accelerating. In order to reduce packaging waste and actively respond to the requirements of the national sustainable development strategy. In order to speed up the development of the logistics industry, we should standardize and guide the logistics packaging industry and promote the rapid, modern, green and sustainable development of logistics packaging.

Packaging recycling logistics involves municipal departments, network operators, logistics industry, consumers and many other aspects. Only by combining all forces can the normal development of packaging recycling logistics be ensured. The government is the key point of the whole recycling logistics system. The government should play a leading role in attracting the participation of the logistics industry and network operators, thus enabling consumers to participate in the packaging recycling process. Therefore, this paper suggests that how to promote the development of recycling logistics should be explained from the following points.

1. Multi-party cooperation to establish a recycling system The establishment of a recycling system cannot be achieved without the participation of consumers, enterprises, the government and all sectors of society. Only by improving relevant supporting systems and involving various parties can the problem of logistics packaging recycling be fundamentally solved.

In the recycling and reuse of packaging waste, the participation of enterprises is essential. Express delivery companies and production enterprises can make full use of their own advantages and adopt a mode of cooperation from the supply chain. For example, the express company responsible for the transportation link can set up a special mechanism for recycling waste to support the recycling of packaging materials. For production enterprises, they should participate in the processing and use their own advantages to open up recycling channels. Try to produce and use decomposable and renewable materials and packages that can meet the requirements of multiple packages.

As in other developing countries, China lacks such a mechanism and should learn from the advanced experience of some developed countries. Now the recycling of renewable resources in many developed countries has become a very important industry and their packaging recycling network is sound. Today, the total value of renewable resources in the world has reached nearly 300 billion US dollars per year and continues to grow. In China, the recycling work is still in a relatively primary stage, resulting in low recycling rate of renewable resources. The government should establish a sound recycling mechanism to reduce pollution. At the same time, it can also increase capital investment to help enterprises and citizens raise recycling awareness, enhance recycling efficiency, support scientific research and development of recycling systems, and reduce the cost of recycling so as to achieve proper recycling.

2. Promote the modernization of logistics packaging At present, our country’s logistics packaging has the problem that the standardization level is not high enough, resulting in a large amount of waste and rising costs. To change this situation, we must guide our country’s logistics packaging to standardization. The limited strength of the enterprise itself makes the current standardization of logistics and packaging can only be carried out in one or more cooperative enterprises.

This requires us to formulate a unified standard to regulate and guide, which can not only improve circulation efficiency, but also reduce packaging costs and save packaging materials, thus realizing the rational operation of the logistics system and meeting the requirements of modern logistics development. Thereby reducing packaging waste and improving packaging utilization rate.

Active cooperation between logistics enterprises and raw material suppliers can promote the modernization of logistics packaging. Including the rational use and recovery of logistics resources: (1) improving the design of logistics packaging and making rational use of packaging resources; (2) Adopt advanced process equipment to recycle waste packaging materials and reduce pollution; (3) Adopt new packaging materials and substitutes.

3. Actively Develop Green Logistics Packaging Packaging and transportation are two important links of environmental pollution caused by logistics activities. Because packaging needs to consume a lot of resources, and these wastes also produce municipal waste, the development of green packaging is also a major trend in the development of logistics industry in the future.

Green package refers to an environment-friendly package that can be recycled and reused, is easy to degrade, can promote sustainable development, and is harmless to the ecological environment, human body and livestock health in the life cycle of the product.

At present, the mainstream of such packaging has the following types:

(1) Honeycomb paperboard products and paper pulp molded packages can be used as buffer partitions and liner packages, or as packing boxes to replace wooden cases. This kind of material is basically pollution-free in the production process, and can also be recycled to make paper pulp, which is convenient for recycling, and the process is relatively simple. In real life, people also have a strong recycling awareness of this kind of material, which is a green package and is widely used.

(2) Degradable plastics. With the development of science and technology, the degradable plastics developed at present can improve the recycling process of plastic packaging materials. Light, oxygen, water or microorganisms are mainly used for degradation. It is also convenient for recycling and reproduction, can be reused many times, and has great development potential in the markets of personal hygiene products, medical materials, food packaging linings and the like.

Nowadays, many developed countries have rich advanced experience in the implementation of green signs. They show the role of environmental signs in environmental protection to the public through graphics, illustrations and other signs. In real life, many people take part in environmental protection activities when purchasing goods, which can affect the environmental decision of logistics packaging.

With the continuous strengthening of human awareness of environmental protection and the rapid development of modern industrial technology, the greening of packaging is an inevitable trend. From the macro perspective and long-term interests, in order to save resources and protect the environment, through the development of technology to meet the requirements of sustainable social and economic development.

4. Improve relevant laws and regulations, establish and improve the packaging recycling management system Many countries have promulgated a series of laws and regulations to enforce people’s awareness of environmental protection and promote environmental protection. Such as Japan’s “Energy Protection and Promotion Recycling Law”, Florida’s “Waste Disposal Pre-charging Law” and Germany’s “Packaging Waste Disposal” etc. Using laws and regulations to micro-control the recovery rate and reuse rate of packaging waste not only reduces pollution, but also saves resources.

At this stage, our government can learn advanced logistics operation and garbage recycling technology from foreign countries to effectively manage and control packaging waste. The establishment of a waste recycling management department, a clear recovery of the competent units, the development of the corresponding logistics waste management system, the creation of appropriate reward and punishment mechanism, in order to promote enterprise waste disposal technology and management reform. At the same time, the government can set up a profit-oriented system to give preferential policies or taxes to enterprises that use waste recycling technologies for recycling, processing and reuse by strengthening capital investment in logistics recycling infrastructure or in the form of waste treatment subsidies to enterprises, so as to increase their enthusiasm.

5. Raise the national awareness of recycling and environmental protection As we all know, our country is still in the primary stage of socialism, the overall quality of the people is not high enough, and the garbage classification education is still very backward. Therefore, the government can only take the lead and guide enterprises to set an example. In the recycling of various recyclable materials, garbage classification can effectively reduce waste and improve utilization efficiency. For example, in Japan, the classification education for various kinds of garbage is relatively perfect, various packaging materials can be separated, and the classification of national recyclable materials is well done, thus reducing waste and facilitating recycling. At present, our country is vigorously promoting the recycling of resources and the high-value utilization of waste resources, which is the focus of the 13th Five-Year Plan and is also the need for the development of the recycling economy system at this stage. Therefore, we should seize the opportunity to increase publicity on recycling logistics, popularize citizens’ understanding of recycling logistics, make more people understand it, reduce waste and improve recycling utilization rate.

Fourth:The recycling and reuse of waste packaging materials

Recovery and reuse of packaging materials can solve some of the needs of enterprises and reduce production costs and packaging costs. Enterprises can reduce the purchase of new packaging materials by recycling packaging waste and then processing it for reuse by enterprises. In addition, enterprises can also reduce production costs by recycling packaging waste. At the same time, in the process of logistics, product packaging can provide protection function is indispensable, also can ensure the smooth development of logistics activities.


Nowadays, economic globalization has become an inevitable trend in the development of the world economy, and the world is gradually forming a whole. The diverse and complex global market puts forward new requirements for logistics packaging, such as reasonable optimization of logistics packaging, reduction of logistics process costs, and how to solve the problem of waste pollution in logistics packaging, which has also become a topic of increasing concern in various countries. To develop a modern logistics packaging system requires the joint participation of enterprises, government departments, consumers and other parties. At the same time, it also requires the training and construction of logistics professionals, so as to fundamentally solve the problem of logistics packaging waste, reduce pollution, improve recovery rate and further promote the sustainable and good development of China’s modern logistics industry.


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