Aramex provides an array of services, including domestic and express package delivery. In order to ensure that customers’ packages are delivered intact, envelopes and pouches are used for packaging. The pouches are made of polythene plastic and the envelopes are made of paper and cardboard. Given that consumption rates are considerably high and packaging material is disposed of after usage, Aramex mobilized a sustainability initiative across its global network to replace the packaging material with more eco friendly alternatives.
Plastic pouches are environmentally undesirable for several reasons. Most notably, the length of time that plastic needs to break down or decompose can range anywhere between 100 years or more. Plastics also pollute the landscape, persist in landfill sites, choke wildlife, and could block drains and sewers. Paper and cardboard is also environmentally undesirable. The production of these materials is detrimental to the environment because the bleaching process uses chlorine, which releases dioxins. Also, the decomposition of paper and cardboard in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas.
To solve the problems associated with plastic pouches, Aramex took action by purchasing degradable polythene pouches and recycled envelopes. The alternative serves the same function, without affecting its durability, yet significantly reduces our greenhouse gas emissions. The degradable pouches contain an additive - which when decomposed produces water, a small amount of carbon dioxide, and biomass which can be composted and used as fertilizer.
In order to reduce the harmful effects of paper and become more sustainable, Aramex now uses recycled envelopes instead of newly produced envelopes. Recycling paper and cardboard consumes less energy and pollutes less as opposed to new production of these materials. The recycle option is also less harmful because the final product is usually unbleached or uses oxygen rather than chlorine based bleaches. In addition, Aramex has reduced paper consumption by reducing airway bills from 5 to 3 pages. These initiatives have been rolled out in all Aramex stations. Aramex will continue to seek sustainable alternatives and implement best practices to reduce their carbon footprint.