KoPack is pioneering responsible eCommerce deliveries in Spain

Spain is not immune to this trend: fuelled by the pandemic, online shopping provided a practical alternative as retail locations closed and people stayed in to avoid the virus. Spain ranks 13th in eCommerce worldwide, ahead of Italy and behind Russia. Growing at 17% 1.2 billion parcels were delivered in in Spain in 2021.

Even though this is great news for the courier, express, and parcel (CEP) industry, there is no disputing that the eCommerce boom has unforeseen negative effects on the environment. Most people are unaware of the environmental footprint of packaging, or the total amount of carbon dioxide (C02) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the life of a shipping box. This includes all greenhouse gases generated in the production of the raw materials, packaging transformation, transportation through the process (to the factory, from the factory to the storage facility, and to the final consumer), and packaging end-of-life management, whether it is recycled or managed for waste.

For instance, cardboard packaging has an average cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of 940g of CO2 emissions per 1kg of packaging. The scope of cardboard manufacture is likewise astounding: 4 billion trees are globally felled each year to produce fiber-based goods, which is the equivalent of 1% of the Amazon Rainforest. Worries are increased by the fact that there is an insufficient supply of FSC-certified fiber to meet demand for packaging. Recycled content is not the solution either since, similar to cotton, paper fiber lengths reduce with each cycle of recycling, necessitating the addition of virgin fiber to ensure strength and quality in even recycled cardboard.

Many businesses are taking action in response to the issue of sustainable eCommerce packaging, from removing extraneous packaging components to making sure all packaging materials, including tape, stickers, and tissue papers, can be recycled together. KoPack, a Spanish initiative stands out above all others in this area. KoPack is a “love story between two companies for the planet,” according to its founders. On the one hand, there is Koiki, a last-mile logistics company that uses delivery methods that reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions (bicycles, scooters, public transportation, etc.) as well as hires underprivileged collectives to make deliveries with the goal of generating positive social and environmental impact. On the other hand, there is Rezero, a non-profit group focused on generating knowledge and testing initiatives towards a Zero Waste society.

They joined forces to form KoPack, whose goal is to eliminate the packaging waste produced by eCommerce deliveries. How does KoPack accomplish its goal? By placing a wager on packaging reuse. As many as 20 times.

The way that companies choose to ship their goods affects its customers. KoPack is aware of this and works to make the encounter unforgettable. It offers two types of reusable packaging: a flexible woven polypropylene bag available in three sizes and a hard-wearing, rigid but collapsible polypropylene box that can be printed directly on.

While flexible woven polypropylene pouches are perfect for shipping clothing and accessory items, rigid polypropylene boxes are best for delivering fragile and high-value goods. These durable yet lightweight boxes were conceived and developed by Corplex, and they have a unique design that allows them to be flattened after usage. The key to their effective return to KoPack, which oversees the life cycle of the boxes, is their capacity to collapse to envelope size when empty. KoPack then returns the empty boxes in batches to the brand owner to be refilled with new eCommerce purchases so that the cycle can begin again. Per box, there can be up to 20 send-return-send again cycles.

Each box saves 200g of CO2 per use because its high content of recycled polypropylene. That is the same amount of CO2 absorption as 10 trees doing so in a single day. Their benefit extends far beyond lowering carbon emissions. The reuse system has a lower impact on 11 out of 18 environmental impact indicators as early as the 7th cycle of use, according to a recent cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment comparing the environmental impact of the plastic box reuse system versus single-use cardboard boxes. Scientific modeling shows benefits for the reuse system over single-use cardboard boxes for indicators such water eutrophication, global warming potential, water ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification, land usage (related to biodiversity loss), ozone generation, and water depletion.

Brand owners that choose KoPack for their deliveries also gain financially because, for a box with 20 uses, the greater initial cost of the Reuse system is recouped after just 5 uses.

KoPack gives customers the assurance that they are not unnecessarily contributing to the waste produced by economic activity at a time when they are becoming more conscious of environmental issues. The high rate of packaging returns -which can be given to the delivery person, folded flat and deposited in the mailbox, or brought back to the closest collection location- indicates the positive experience and encourages customer loyalty.

When like-minded firms work together to bring about change, great things happen for the planet. KoPack has become the eco-friendly option for eCommerce delivery in Spain thanks to the vision Koiki has for zero waste deliveries, Rezero’s enabling skills, and Corplex’s packaging design expertise and production know-how.

Together, they are laying the foundation for a future with minimal carbon emissions for Spanish businesses and consumers.

About Koiki

Koiki is a logistics operator in Spain, specialising in last mile logistics.

Created in 2015, its mission is the environmentally friendly distribution of parcels. In addition to this environmental dimension, Koiki also has a social dimension as distribution is carried out by an integrated network of microhubs throughout the Iberian Peninsula, employing people with disabilities or social integration.

Koiki has created the KoPack brand, a range of reusable packaging for e-commerce.

About Corplex

Corplex is a market leader in sustainable plastics solutions for numerous market segments.

With 11 sales, design and manufacturing facilities strategically located in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia and the USA, we deliver every day award-winning products to customers around the globe.

At Corplex, we focus on effective product reuse and plastic recycling. Our extensive range of products and applications are perfectly placed to take on the challenge of providing innovative products that drive carbon footprint reduction.

Corplex’ sustainable project is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastics.

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