Flipkart, India’s leading ecommerce startup, achieved a 25 percent reduction in single-use plastic through various methods in its packaging value chain. This milestone was achieved as of August 1, 2019.
The ecommerce startup, owned by Walmart, has also committed to eliminate single-use plastic in packaging and move towards a 100 percent recycled plastic consumption in its own supply chain by March 2021, according to a statement released by Flipkart.
As part of its long-term sustainability initiatives, Flipkart is working on various initiatives including the introduction of eco-friendly paper shreds, replacing poly pouches with recycled paper bags, and replacing bubble wraps and airbags with carton waste shredded material and 2-ply roll, to name a few.
“At Flipkart, we believe that sustainable business practices not only help us preserve our environment, but make us more efficient and ensure longevity. Creating alternatives for single-use plastic packaging is one of the significant steps we have taken towards fulfilling our commitment to create a sustainable ecosystem. Our long-term vision is to eliminate the use of plastic and maximise the use of recycled and renewable materials” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group CEO of Flipkart.
Under this commitment, the company has also filed for the EPR (extended producer responsibility) and is targeting 30 percent collection back in the first year, to begin with. Flipkart also committed to maximising the recycled content in single-use plastic to boost the recycling ecosystem and reduce virgin plastic consumption.
It is also actively working with the ecosystem to understand how to best implement other initiatives to tackle plastic waste and in phase two of this engagement, it will extend this effort to thousands of seller premises for orders shipped directly.
According to Flipkart, over the next year, buyers on the platform can expect to see even more measures in the plan to cut down on plastic, including ecommerce-ready packaging from brands and recycled paper bags for packaging.
The efforts for the reduction in single-use plastic started about a year ago and resulted in a 25 percent reduction in the packaging processes. Towards its commitment to 100 percent plastic-free operations, Flipkart has introduced eco-friendly alternatives and recycled plastics.
The startup has been actively working with various partners on long term sustainability initiatives. Since the beginning of this year, Flipkart has been working on deploying sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic for its packaging.
Earlier this year, it had announced the introduction of electric vehicles in its last-mile delivery network. The company aims to replace nearly 40 percent of its existing last-mile fleet of delivery vans with EVs by March 2020.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)