India’s leading ecommerce marketplace, Flipkart, has rolled out a new initiative to minimise the use of plastic and drive its sustainability agenda. The primary focus will be to create awareness among consumers on the proper disposal of plastic packaging and make them active participants in achieving sustainability.
As part of this initiative, Flipkart is conducting a pilot project to collect plastic packaging back from consumers at select hubs across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Dehradun, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, and Ahmedabad.
According to a press release issued by Flipkart, the pilot aims at ensuring that the existing plastic packaging in the system is recycled and reused. Under the program, Flipkart will send out an intimation to consumers asking them to voluntarily hand over plastic packaging to Flipkart Wishmasters (the delivery personnel) for its proper disposal, at the time of product deliveries.
The collected material will then be sent to registered vendors to ensure it is disposed of responsibly and not consigned to landfills. The Wishmasters have been trained to communicate the various facets of this initiative to consumers to ensure higher participation, the release stated.
This program comes as part of Flipkart’s sustainability agenda, under which it has already reduced the utilisation of single-use plastic by 33%. The Indian ecommerce giant aims to move towards 100% recycled plastic consumption throughout its supply chain by March 2021.
Towards this goal, Flipkart has filed for extended producer responsibility (EPR) and is targeting 30% collection of plastic packaging in the first year of the initiative. The company is also committed to maximising the recycling of single-use plastic to boost the recycling ecosystem and reduce virgin plastic consumption.
Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said,
“Flipkart is a committed corporate citizen mindful of its role towards environmental sustainability. We have taken bold steps towards reducing single-use plastic in the system by replacing it with various eco-friendly alternatives and are constantly innovating with our approaches. The recently initiated pilot program ensures that our biggest stakeholder, our consumers, is one of the key enablers of this initiative and will help drive awareness.”
Rajneesh added, “We believe a collective approach of all the stakeholders would help us in achieving the dream of a Swachh and Samridha Bharat and the country’s vision to phase out single-use plastic.”
Flipkart is working on various initiatives towards its long-term sustainability goal, including the introduction of eco-friendly paper shreds and replacement of poly-pouches with recycled paper bags, and bubble wraps and airbags with carton waste shredded material and 2-ply roll, to name a few.
Earlier this year, the company announced the introduction of electric vehicles in its last-mile delivery network, with the aim to replace nearly 40% of its existing last-mile fleet of delivery vans with EVs by March 2020.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)