Flipkart eliminates single-use plastic packaging from supply chain

By 10 Jul 2021

In abidance to its public commitment to switch to a plastic-free supply chain by 2021, eCommerce marketplace Flipkart has announced the elimination of all single-use plastic packaging in more than 70 fulfilment centres in India. 

Flipkart's single-use plastic packaging elimination in more than 70 Indian fulfilment centres (Image source: Twitter)

To facilitate this plastic-free packaging goal, the company has introduced scalable sustainable alternatives such as paper shreds, replacement of poly pouches with recycled paper bags, bubble wraps with shredded carton waste and two-ply rolls, among others. 

Hemant Badri, senior vice-president and head of supply chain at Flipkart, said, “At our company, we place great emphasis on sustainable and responsible business practices. Switching to 100% single-use plastic elimination is one of the most 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.”

Throughout this process, the eCommerce major ensured that it remained fully compliant with all extended producer responsibility regulations and claims that through its network of recyclers, it also ensured that the equivalent quantity of single-use plastic going to consumers is recycled. Besides this, Flipkart is now actively working with its regional seller partners, educating and enabling them to switch to plastic alternatives. The company claims that it has already achieved a 27% reduction in single-use plastic packaging usage in its seller fulfillments.

In addition, it is also actively working with the packaging ecosystem to understand how it can best implement sustainability initiatives to create a circular economy for plastics. “We are focused on enabling our seller ecosystem to adopt sustainable packaging alternatives and to create positive environmental and social impact across the entire supply chain,” said Badri.

For instance, with its eCommerce ready packaging, Flipkart has been able to ship close to 15% of products without adding a secondary packaging layer. The company is also working towards ensuring that the used packaging does not affect the environment.

With a registered customer base of more than 350 million, Flipkart offers over 150 million products across more than 80 categories. The company has also committed to a 100% transition to electric vehicles in its city logistics network by 2030. And is focusing on resource efficiency in its operations by increasing the use of renewable energy and executing projects to improve water, waste management and overall energy productivity across its strategic facilities such as fulfilment centres and data centres. 

A majority of Flipkart facilities are now ISO 14001 certified. It claims that a range of its large warehouse projects is being developed in line with IGBC's Green Building guidelines.

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