Deutsche Post DHL Group, the global logistics company, appointed us to review the global policy and recycling landscape in relation to their packaging, the aim being to support the development of a Plastic Packaging Strategy. We are now supporting DPDHL Group with the development of universal green packaging standards to be implemented across their diverse markets.
The company uses plastic in a variety of ways across its operations, including in its iconic express mailer bags, pallet wrap, void fill materials and tape and labels. The initial review looked at existing and upcoming plastic packaging policies in key global markets – detailing what was happening to constrain the use of plastics and recommendations on what DPDHL Group could do to mitigate against the identified constraints. The review considered single-use plastic (SUP) bans, plastic taxes and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees, as well as the physical reality of recycling, in a wide variety of markets, from the EU, via the Middle East, to India and China, to name but a few.
Once DPDHL Group understood the potential constraints, Eunomia supported them with identifying low impact packaging alternatives and supplier outreach and soft market testing, to see what the leading packaging suppliers could feasibly provide. Key considerations when assessing alternative options included performance (fitness for purpose), embodied carbon, impact on litter and marine environments, recyclability, and consumer perception. Options included reusable systems, paper-based, bio-based and compostable packaging, as well as the use of recycled content. Eunomia has also advised DPDHL Group on certification schemes for bio-based plastics and paper packaging so that the company knows which can be relied upon.
DPDHL Group are now, with our support, using the research we have provided to establish new Green Packaging Standards for operations across the business – while a ban on the use of expanded polystyrene is already in place.
Our Sustainable Business Lead Mark Hilton said: “Whilst some companies have made unrealistic commitments or knee jerk reactions to anti-plastic sentiments, DPDHL Group is taking a carefully considered approach to their environmental impact. Companies should be wary of ‘new materials’ appearing on the market – of which there are now many.
“I’d encourage them to seek expert advice, so they understand the context of any bold environmental claims and avoid falling into the trap of accidental greenwash. Businesses who make the right decision now will gain a competitive advantage in a world where consumers care increasingly about the environment, and governments are bringing in legislation to support that.”