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Circular packaging tackles e-commerce waste in Taiwan

Retail

A startup is preventing the creation of tonnes of single-use packaging waste

Spotted: Since Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced new packaging legislation in 2023, which banned the use of virgin PVC plastic for online retailers, e-commerce companies have been searching for alternative, sustainable solutions.

Taiwanese startup PackAge+ aims to fill this gap in the market with its circular packaging offering. In hopes of tackling the massive waste generated by e-commerce, the company rents out reusable and recyclable packaging to retailers, enabling them to reuse containers over 50 times. Instead of continually using virgin plastics, companies can rent out Package+’s boxes and bags, which are made from recycled plastic bottles. PackAge+ already works with over 70 e-commerce partners, including companies such as Aveda and Shopee.

After consumers from participating retailers receive their delivery, they return the containers, each of which has a unique ID that can be tracked, to dedicated return points across Taiwan for cleaning. These sites are located at FamilyMart stores and certain Carrefour and Watsons locations, along with various community residences.

Once returned, customers receive reward coupons and can track past returns on their dedicated LINE account, incentivising them to continue returning containers and facilitating a circular packaging economy. Because of the tech-enabled traceability, companies can also track the reusable packaging they use, and understand the emissions reductions they’ve achieved by transitioning to a circular model.

In a pre-series A funding round, the award-winning startup raised NT$52 million (around €1.5 million), with investments from Chinatrust Startup Investment Corporation, Chang Hwa Bank Startup Investment Corporation, and National Development Fund, among others. With this funding, PackAge+ aims to expand its services to food delivery, in-store pickup, and technology park material deliveries while using machine learning to create and inform its plans for an ‘optimal circular model’.

Springwise has spotted other innovations looking to make circular packaging more accessible, including a tracking app for takeaway food boxes and decentralised packaging cleaning hubs.

Written By: Lauryn Berry and Matilda Cox

Email: service@packageplus-tw.com

Website: package-plus.com

Contact: package-plus.com/contact

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