In 2021, online sales increased by 7% in France and with them the number of deliveries. While this growth is shaping up to be good news for merchants, the planet cannot say the same, especially considering that in 86% of transactions, home deliveries use disposable packaging.
Although the report of the working group number II of the IPCC, published on February 28, confirmed the acceleration of the consequences of climate change, how to transform the entire supply chain to become more virtuous? If technology brings part of the answers, nothing will be possible until there is a change in mentality.
Collectively raise awareness of the impact of deliveries
Are we really aware of the impact of our online purchases on the planet? Freight transport accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Before reaching our mailboxes, objects travel around the world by ship, plane, truck, in the back of a van or on a bicycle. During their journey, they change the packaging and transport labels several times to meet the specifications of each carrier or their customers.
Once delivered, the issue of waste treatment (packaging, labels, bubble wrap, etc.) related to the shipment arises. The French government plans to recycle all plastic by 2025. And yet, while it accounts for 64% of plastic waste, only 28% of plastic packaging and objects are currently recycled.
However, recycling is far from a Holy Grail, as it means that an object will not be reused or repaired. For this reason, professionals and consumers must be made aware so that together they choose solutions that have a lower impact on the environment.
New technologies, the key to sustainable logistics
The IoT is at the center of tomorrow’s logistics: the use of trackers and sensors allows data to be collected and empowers each actor in logistics. Through the use of the blockchain, delivery information is recorded in real time and securely.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms then step in to process this data. They are able to predict and optimize the number of packages per shipment, routes taken, preferred times, storage space management and last mile delivery. It is important that all these systems are connected to each other and communicate to create a truly intelligent logistics network.
Better delivery also means producing less
Packaging can be produced more responsibly thanks to the evolution of materials and the appearance of infinitely recyclable plastics such as EPP (expanded polypropylene). Also more robust, they become reusable and reduce the use of cardboard. Finally, they are designed to include wedge and label display systems, eliminating the need for bubble wrap, adhesive, Styrofoam, etc.
Shipments are better protected and their content can now be permanently monitored thanks to integrated sensors. Less breakage, theft or loss contributes to less waste and therefore less production to favor the reuse of objects. In fact, this logistics development will support the growing enthusiasm of consumers around the world for the reuse of objects. Once at the end of their life, it will still be possible to recover them through reconditioning, repair or recycling.
* Fevad: https://www.fevad.com/bilan-du-e-commerce-en-france-en-2021-les-francais-ont-depense-129-milliards-deuros-sur-internet/
* Usine Nouvelle: https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-france-cancre-europeen-du-recyclage-de-plastiques.N636693