Pro-environment youth groups and online sellers are calling on e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee to adopt a “zero-waste approach to enable a better normal in the industry.”
An online petition signed by over 14,000 individuals urged Lazada and Shopee to “reveal data on waste estimates, reduce current waste production by introducing reduction targets, and redesign current systems by exploring reusable and returnable packaging.”
The group Youth Strike for Climate initiated the petition to call on the e-commerce companies to integrate zero-waste systems into their businesses.
In a statement, Greenpeace Philippines said that while both companies have publicized efforts to implement more “eco-friendly” practices, “their plastic packaging spree continues.”
“By heeding the people’s call to reveal, reduce, and redesign, Lazada and Shopee can lead the way to providing Filipinos with a better normal e-commerce experience,” read the group’s statement.
Aside from reducing plastic at the source, the groups also called on Lazada and Shopee to improve its delivery systems by adopting sustainable alternatives instead.
“Reusable packaging is not only doable but is good for business as well,” said Rachelle Lacanlale, founder of the group JuanBag.
“If businesses shift their thinking from focusing on profit alone to prioritizing the needs of people and the planet, we can design and innovate new systems that don’t sacrifice the wellbeing of communities and the environment,” said Lacanlale.
Globally, the e-commerce industry has been growing at an exponential rate, and is now worth US$4.89 trillion.
In the Philippines, usage of e-commerce doubled during the pandemic, reflecting a 55% growth in 2020. Analysts predict that the number of Filipinos using e-commerce will reach 55.8 million users by 2025.
The green groups, however, said the industry’s windfall in profits has not been matched by substantial efforts to ensure the business model doesn’t harm the environment.
The groups noted that the rise of online shopping during the pandemic shows that e-commerce is now part of the “new normal” and the companies “need to do their part to ensure more sustainable business practices post-pandemic.”