Walmart-owned Flipkart, an ecommerce firm based in India, has eliminated the use of single-use plastic packaging throughout its supply chain – 70 total facilities – in the country.
The move comes at a time when single-use plastic bans are on the rise around the world.
To achieve the goal, the company has introduced sustainable alternatives such as eco-friendly paper shreds, replacing poly pouches with recycled paper bags, and replacing bubble wraps with carton waste shredded material, to name a few examples. The company has also ensured full compliance with all extended producer responsibility regulations.
Additionally, Flipkart is working with its seller partners and educating them to move towards alternative materials. Flipkart claims to have already achieved a 27% reduction in the use of single-use plastic packaging in its seller fulfillments.
Other key supply chain initiatives by Flipkart include ‘E-commerce ready packaging’, where it has been able to ship close to 15% of products without adding a secondary layer of packaging. The company aims to reduce the need for an outer layer by working with brands across apparel, electronics and home furnishings to ship their products in the original manufacturer or brand packaging. The company is also working on efforts such as responsible forestry and sourcing, plastic-free returns in the supply chain, and plastic-free returns for sellers. Flipkart has committed to a 100% transition to electric vehicles in its city logistics network by 2030.
Hemant Badri, Senior Vice-President and Head of Supply Chain at Flipkart, said, “At Flipkart, we place great emphasis on sustainable and responsible business practices. Moving towards 100 percent single-use plastic elimination is one of the significant steps we have taken towards fulfilling our commitment to creating a sustainable ecosystem. We achieved this while navigating a tough year impacted by COVID and are proud that our teams kept the priorities in line. We are now focused on enabling our seller ecosystem to adopt sustainable packaging alternatives as well, and to create positive environmental and social impact across the entire supply chain.”