Supply chains are responsible for a considerable proportion of environmental damage (some estimates put it at 90%!). We know we have to do and will do something about this.
So we did. This spring, Able Freight rolled out several new initiatives to reduce our footprint. These employee and community-level changes are based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Just a few items that we are researching include electric fleet usage, digitizing our operations (no need to use all that paper), and expanding our recycling program. But one thing that we might be most excited about is our zero plastics initiative. We call it Plastic Free ’23, because we plan to be free of single use and consumable plastics by December 31, 2023.
As an example. Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit whose mission is to protect oceans from environmental damage, estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, on top of the 150 million metric tons of trash that already circulates through the waters. And this is assuming that plastic consumption doesn’t increase. Sadly, we know that it will, unless we choose to do something now. Volunteer ocean cleanup events address some of these problems, but they aren’t enough on their own. Nobody can reach plastic that has already made its way to the middle of the Pacific. What we need to focus on is reducing our plastic usage. Addressing the problem from the root, so that straws and shopping bags don’t end up in the stomach of a seal.
Here’s how we’re doing that. In the office, we’ve eliminated disposable cutlery, saving nearly 50,000 single-use utensils from ending up in a landfill or the ocean. We’re doing away with plastic canisters and other items that are hard to recycle. If it can’t be efficiently reused, we’re finding an alternative. We’re taking things even further in our warehouses. This spring, we tested out new adhesive materials. We’re trying out a recyclable alternative to metal bubble wrap. Our approach is not only going to help us be more efficient but lower the impact that Able Freight will have on the planet.
We expect testing to conclude in Q2 2021. Two years and seven months to go and then Able Freight expects to be free of consumable plastics.
Your Able Freight Team
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