Remember Mark Hall of Businesswaste.co.uk, who was after Nikolai Yezhov’s old job? He’s spamming me again. Let’s take a look.
Calls to government to force Amazon and retailers to take back your packaging
Last week it was re-education camps and indoctrination of schoolkids. This week it’s deploying government force against private companies. Next week he’ll be extolling the virtues of barbed wire and watchtowers.
Popular mail order companies like Amazon and Asos should take back their packaging for recycling and ethical disposal in a money-saving move that could result in thousands of tonnes of waste being recycled.
If it was money-saving they’d already be doing it, wouldn’t they?
In the same way that grocery delivery services such as Ocado take back their own (and any other supermarkets’) plastic bags, couriers should ask if there is any mail order cardboard or plastic packing that needs to go back to the depot, a national waste and recycling company says.
According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, this is likely to boost recycling rates all over the country, and encourage householders and companies to think greener. And it would be great for Amazon’s sometimes-battered reputation, too.
Among whom is Amazon’s reputation battered? Not the customers: they seem to love it. And if not them, who cares what everyone else thinks?
“If Ocado can take back bags, then Amazon should take back boxes and Asos take back packaging,” Business Waste spokesperson Mark Hall says.
Presumably Dulux should take back empty paint tins, Castrol empty oil drums, and McDonald’s empty burger cartons.
“It might even encourage ethical consumers to shop with them, and that would be good for business.”
However has Amazon managed so far without the sagely business advice from people running garbage bins out of North Yorkshire? My guess is in their ignorance they have decided against costly side-operations irrelevant to their core business and concentrated instead on keeping their overheads as low as possible.
Latest government figures show that Britain throws away 4.7 million tonnes of paper and cardboard packaging every year, and only 3.4 million of this is recycled. While this is above EU target rates, a missing 1.3 million tonnes is still lost to the system, Business Waste says.
So cardboard can be recycled an infinite number of times, can it? From what I can tell most cardboard packaging is already recycled from higher-grade paper, and I very much doubt this recycled packaging can be further recycled too many times. In other words, there will always be wastage. Perhaps 1.3m tonnes is too high, but only an idiot would think this is “lost” to the system.
The same figures show that only a third of the 2.2 million tonnes of plastic packaging discarded every year is recycled. Again, this is above generous European targets, but still far short of what can be achieved.
At what cost? Apparently it doesn’t matter.
“It’s hard to imagine 1.3 million tonnes of anything,” Hall says,
I think this says more about Mr Hall’s brain capacity than it does Britain’s recycling efforts.
“But that amount of paper and cardboard would probably reach most of the way to the moon, if not further.”
The moon is about 385,000 kilometres away. The density of cardboard is about 0.7 tonnes per metre cubed. 1.3m tonnes of cardboard therefore has a volume of about 1.9m cubic metres. If this were to stretch to the moon it would need to be stacked in a square of 0.005 metres square, which is 7cm on each side. This doesn’t seem like the best analogy.
Here’s what BusinessWaste.co.uk suggests:
All couriers should ask if there’s “Anything to go back?” when making a delivery. Customers can hand over any mail order packaging, from any source.
Right, so couriers are expected to collect materials of unknown size, type, and quantity when making deliveries. What could possibly be wrong with this idea?
Customers expecting a delivery can leave old card and plastic packaging out to be collected
Leave out? Where? In the road?
Recycled card and plastic is sorted straight from the returning courier’s van into appropriate bins at the depot
Sorted by whom? The van driver? I bet he’s chuffed with his new role. And it may come as a surprise to the geniuses at Businesswaste.co.uk but Amazon uses third party couriers such as Royal Mail and DHL. Are postmen now going to be lugging discarded packaging around behind them as they go about their business of delivering things? Is DHL going to be driving about with a van full of somebody else’s packaging?
Bins are emptied or collected by a commercial waste and recycling company
Such as yourselves, of course.
These bins, while strictly commercial waste, should be exempted from landfill tax bills as they have been collected from domestic sources with the intent to recycle.
Sorry? I assumed this material would be exempt from landfill tax because it is going to be recycled, not dumped in landfill. Did you read this press release before spamming me with it?
This scheme should apply to online retailers such as Amazon, as well as mail order clothing outlets such as Asos which use courier services
And hence your own company can tap into Amazon’s revenue streams. Very clever.
“We see a large and enthusiastic take-up for such a system,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall,
If there is a large and enthusiastic uptake then the problem is already solved, isn’t it?
“and it should push all mail order companies into considering more environmentally friendly packaging in the future.”
Which they did years ago anyway, without the input from from people running garbage bins out of North Yorkshire. Almost all Amazon’s packaging is made from recycled materials these days.
BusinessWaste.co.uk applauds the efforts of online mail order giants Amazon for their efforts in reducing excess packaging, but they are still occasionally guilty of sending tiny items in huge boxes padded out with rolls of brown paper.
Yes, because the packaging is done robotically using standard box sizes.
“We’d say they’re getting it right nine times out of ten,” says Hall, “But we’re still occasionally getting printer ink cartridges in boxes the size of a small car.”
If only Amazon hired glorified binmen from North Yorkshire to advise them on how best to run a logistics operation.
With the onus on the vendors to accept returned packaging, it would encourage them use much less of it, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
Why would vendors be using more packaging than necessary? Don’t you think they’ve already thought of this and reached an optimum solution without the input of rent-seeking binmen?
“The transport network is already in place, through the courier companies” says Hall.
I’m sure they’re delighted to know that you’ve commandeered their fleets for your own hare-brained ideas.
“It just takes a brave step in the right direction to make this work.”
Getting the government to force through changes that result in staggeringly inefficient logistics, inconvenience, and higher prices for customers in order to increase the revenues of Mr Hall’s company. Why yes, how very brave.