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E-BIZ: Reuse and Recycle in eBusiness
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Reuse and Recycle in eBusiness
By Rose Salas

BT 201910 E BIZ 13The “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle” initiative is a joint effort by all households, schools, businesses, and every community to preserve the environment and avoid excessive pollution. One major contributor of wastes in the environment are retail stores, which use plastics and extravagant paper wraps in their packaging. In eBusiness, millions of tons of plastics are consumed yearly, such as plastic bubble wraps, boxes, and thick boards to ensure that the products will be delivered in good condition, without any damage or leaks.

Since the development of internet technology, eBusiness came sprouting non-stop. Because of this, there are millions of electronic devices like mobile phones, desktop computers, laptops, and tablets that become obsolete or disposed of each year. We call these things as “e-waste,” or electronics and gadgets that reached the finish line of their lifespan. With the increasing disposal rate of e-wastes, million metric tons of these electronics were gathered per year. Almost 90% of these wastes go into landfills. However, dumps are not helpful when it comes to proper recycling of e-wastes. By adequately recycling them, various metals can be recollected, which helps in the prevention of environmental pollution and saving of natural energy.

“减少 - 再利用 - 再循环”倡议所有家庭,学校和企业共同努力保护环境。环境中废物的主要来源是零售商店,他们在包装中使用塑料和奢侈纸包装。在电子商务行业中,每年消耗数百万吨塑料,如塑料泡沫包装,盒子和厚纸板,用以确保产品交付状况良好,没有任何损坏或泄漏。


What are the Contributions of eBusiness to Reuse and Recycle Products?

BT 201910 E BIZ 02eBusiness use paperless transactions and ads.

Once a customer purchases from a shop, an invoice or receipt is recorded in the account user’s subscription. Instead of printing out their brochures and marketing campaigns, online companies use the internet technology to promote their products. Millions of tons of papers are eliminated annually, because online store owners do not use paper anymore to print out product leaflets, catalogues, order and sales forms. Aside from saving from operational expenses, they help the community to grow greener!



BT 201910 E BIZ 04eBusiness provides project management with Recycle & Reuse Materials Mobile App.

Not many people or even companies have the complete knowledge of how they can recycle and reuse products. For example, there are construction companies who have materials for disposal that can still be used and recycled after a project is completed. What the Mobile App does is, it allows you to list the materials that are available for recycling or reusing. The lists are saved in the Cloud server of the app maker, which can then be printed or emailed to non-profit organization or group you’d like to donate it to. This initiative helped a lot of communities, especially those who receive donations of any kind. There are hundreds of apps available about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, which can teach even the young kids to be environment-friendly. These apps are both accessible in any Apple or Android gadgets. This greatly helps in reducing waste that causes environmental impacts.



BT 201910 E BIZ 05eBusiness use Reverse Logistics.

Reverse logistics is a strategy wherein a company collects and reuse parts of their distributed goods. For example, the courier company UPS allows customers to reuse boxes to ship out items. They even have their own recycling services where they pick up goods and properly dispose it. Telecommunications company now supports this campaign by allowing its consumers to return unused or old smart phones and get discount offers when they purchase a new one. Clothing stores also encourage their patrons to donate old clothes, which they will recycle, and these clothes are turned into All-Recycled Clothing line. With this reverse logistics, a company can not only save in their material costs, but most of all, reduce harmful waste in the environment.



How can the eBusiness sector help in the Reuse and Recycle Campaign?

There are even more ways on how eBusiness can improve and develop practical ways to reuse and recycle. Here are a few things you need to consider now if you have an online business:

BT 201910 E BIZ 06Return and Reuse

Reusable shopping bags became very popular for many years now. You can see them being used by shoppers, especially in grocery stores. Online retailers can use the same concept when sending parcels like what Royal Mail in the UK uses, which is a reusable bag, called Repack. It is an excellent alternative to bubble wraps since the designer made it with a cushion inside. Once delivered, the bag can be returned so it can be reused. This bag can last up to 200 cycles, therefore reducing the use of heavy plastics that can produce a harmful impact on the environment.



BT 201910 E BIZ 07Use eco-wraps and packaging materials

Avoid too much use of plastic and paper in your items. Use eco-friendly packaging alternatives when shipping products to your buyers. For example, instead of using plastic bubble wraps when shipping fragile items, use an option like a wrap made of environment-friendly materials, like corrugated cardboard. This cushion paper will replace the use of the traditional bubble wraps and films and protect the delicate items while in transit on delivery. There are plenty of alternatives that you can find like corrugated paper and enclosures, boxes, air pillows, and parcel envelopes, which are made of recycled contents.



BT 201910 E BIZ 08No to Styrofoam

When you need loose fills for your packaging, use the biodegradable and eco-friendly loose fill packing peanuts. It is made from non-toxic sources, like wheat and corn starch. It easily dissolves in water, unlike the Styrofoam that releases toxic substances and does not break down easily, causing them to persist in the environment even for many years.



BT 201910 E BIZ 09Promote and sell eco-friendly products

If you can get and choose a supplier with green alternatives to the product you are selling, it would be a great idea to switch to it. Natural and organic products can keep your buyers away from dangerous, hazardous, or toxic chemicals that can be life-threatening. Your business can help protect and save the environment in many ways and, at the same time, help your buyers become aware of healthy-living as part of a habit and lifestyle. This can set you apart from your competitors and improve the sustainability of your business.



BT 201910 E BIZ 10Recycle electronic waste

If you’re an online retail owner, you must be equipped with the latest electronic gadget that you use for your business. You must help in taking care of the environment by reducing e-wastes and recycling them. For example, if the gadgets are already defective and broken, you can search from the Internet of the nearest E-Waste Recycling Drop-Off location in your area. If you are buying or upgrading, you can take advantage of the exchange, and send-back offers from companies like Samsung, Sony, LG, Dell, etc. for your mobile phones, computers, and tablets. If you are generous enough, your old gadgets can also be donated.



BT 201910 E BIZ 11Many countries globally are already shifting to eco-friendly packaging systems for their online businesses. Yet, some are still not ready for the transition due to cost or operating expense it will incur, particularly to small scale sellers. However, it will not take a long time for everyone to be in this direction, since we all want to protect the only planet we live in. Soon, even the vehicles that are used for delivering the products will become eco-friendly cars and trucks. This is the future of eBusiness in terms of saving the environment.

eBusiness can make a big impact in this 3R campaign. Online sellers can significantly contribute to making people become aware and more conscious about protecting the environment. More often than not, buyers are only concerned about their buying practice, spending, and shopping; but with the efforts that the online community of retailers and shops to take their part in this campaign will give, consumers will soon become eco-friendly enthusiasts. They will realize not only the importance of using biodegradable packaging, but more importantly, patronize brands that will improve the quality of life, protect them from diseases or illnesses, while supporting long life and good health through natural, organic products.



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