Online shopping has been a coping mechanism for some, while others just really find it more convenient than going out given the ongoing pandemic. However, environmental group Greenpeace urged the largest e-commerce companies in the Philippines to reduce the usage of plastic packaging and switch to sustainable alternatives.
According to Greenpeace campaigner Jefferson Chua, Filipinos spent 420 million minutes on the Lazada app during its 12.12 sale last year, while Shopee declared that 12 million items were quickly sold in the first 24 minutes of the sale.
The spike in the sales of e-commerce resulted in an overwhelming amount of plastic waste, which is mostly not recycled and ends up in landfills. Greenpeace cited Oceana’s data that states plastic packaging use will “more than double” from 942 million kg in 2019 to 2.056 billion kg in 2025.
Youth Strike 4 Climate launched a petition in November 2020, which garnered over 14,000 signatures for these shopping firms to hold accountability transparency regarding plastic packaging waste. The org also urged platforms to use compostable packaging. It said, ‘Lazada and Shopee can tap and work with them for more sustainable packaging solutions and eco-friendly disposal schemes.’
Greenpeace acknowledged that Lazada and Shopee had efforts on pushing green initiatives, but it encourages them that change must come from the manner they process and deliver orders. Chua said, ‘Yung campaigns nila against plastic and for environmental sustainability are really geared towards more on the consumer side by supporting these companies that are environmentally friendly.’
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