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Amid the ongoing climate crises, sustainability has become a global agenda affecting consumers, businesses and governments alike. Governments are supporting carbon emission reduction efforts on a national level, while corporations are focusing on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management and younger customers are concerned with consumption values. Overall there is a shared consensus on the importance of having a “sustainable community.” CJ Logistics is spearheading resource recycling projects using its unique logistics infrastructure to combat environmental concerns. Today, CJ Newsroom introduces CJ Logistics’ earth-saving initiative: “Save The Planet Alliance.” 1,837 Boxes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Bottles = 190,000 Bottles = 2,775kg[1] of plastic The hotel industry is one of many business sectors that notoriously consume a high rate of PET bottles and struggle to recycle its consumption. It is customary in luxury hotels and lodging facilities to provide two complimentary bottles of water each day. These bottles are usually one-time use, clear PET bottles. In the case of a hotel with 250 rooms, approximately 20,000 clear PET bottles are discarded monthly. What Happens to These Discarded PET Bottles? Clear PET bottles are classified as “high-quality” and easier to recycle after the labels are removed. However, only 2 to 3 out of every 10 bottles are actually recycled, with the rest being incinerated or buried in landfills. This recycling inefficiency is partially due to the collection of various types of plastics all at once rather than recycling different types of plastic separately. Although on the consumer and business-side, storing PET bottles separately for an extended time period can be troublesome. To combat this issue, the Ministry of Environment implemented a separate waste collection system for clear PET bottles from drinking water and beverages at both multi-residential and single-family homes in 2020. Although this system was helpful in terms of overall impact, the system has yet to be expanded to hotels or other businesses. [1] 1,837 boxes * approximately 100 bottles per box * average weight of 500ml at 15g = 2,775,500,000g = 2,775.5kg CJ Logistics is solving this problem for hotels and other businesses alike with its unique infrastructure to store and assist with bottle recycling. By actively utilizing its O-NE logistics network, including 14 hub terminals and over 280 sub-terminals nationwide, CJ Logistics is able to collect and transport PET bottles from hotels and resorts so it can be recycled in the future. Normally, unauthorized vehicles collecting waste classified clear PET bottles is illegal, which has prevented logistics companies from starting this recycling effort. However, due to CJ Logistics’ commendation from the Ministry of Environment in June 2022 for its active governance, the company is permitted to collect PET bottles temporarily. The “Save the Planet Alliance” campaign was designed to contribute to sustainable resource circulation by keeping the collected clear PET bottles in pristine condition for recovery and recycling. For six months beginning from December 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, CJ Logistics collected clean PET bottles daily through service from eight 5-star hotels in Seoul and nearby areas, such as the Westin Chosun Seoul, Conrad Seoul and Haesley Nine Bridges. During the six-month period, a total of 1,837 boxes were collected, amounting to around 190,000 individual bottles, equaling 2,775kg of clear PET bottles transported via CJ Logistics’ O-NE network. The company fully utilized its infrastructure to establish a circular logistics system covering the entire realm of collection, transportation and the recycling process. “Vehicles go everywhere,” a CJ Logistics official remarked. “Delivery trucks are the most comprehensive and efficient offline platform available for the entire nation.” CJ Logistics O-NE, Carrying PET Bottles The “Save the Planet Alliance” campaign demonstrates the country’s first attempt to establish a transparent PET recycling system originating from business sites. CJ Logistics is at the heart of the resource-circulating ecosystem by collecting PET bottles, converting them into recycled pellets and then producing clean, new containers. Before the campaign, hotels would gather PET bottles from rooms with other recyclable plastics and store them altogether before disposing of them once a week or month. This required extra space to store plastic waste, which can be difficult for hotels depending on its size. Also the collection and transportation processes often led to PET bottles being mixed with other waste. This can result in the plastic becoming dirty and create recycling complications. CJ Logistics’ infrastructure solved this dilemma with the O-NE vehicles cyclically traversing designated areas daily and stopping by hotels to collect PET bottles as needed. This improved the hotel’s space efficiency and resolved collection and delivery issues at the same time. This campaign also demonstrated the potential for building an efficient circular logistics system through the utilization of the logistics network. Throughout the campaign, the collected PET bottles were sent to RM, the largest PET bottle recycling company in Korea, where they were repurposed into recycled pellets. The pellets are plastic production materials in small fragment shapes. Aromatica’s “Save the Planet Alliance Edition” product packaging Beauty and lifestyle brand Aromatica utilized this recycled material to produce cosmetics containers, as well as for packaging body lotion and body wash in transparent recycled containers, releasing them as the limited “Save the Planet Alliance Edition.” This PET bottle to container transformation project achieved a 100% Bottle to Bottle reincarnation rate. CJ Logistics’ Resource-Circulating Logistics Is Becoming the Next Generation’s Dream for a Better Environment Beyond the cosmetic container project itself, Aromatica donated all profits from the sales of its limited edition project, both online and offline, to CJ Donors Camp* run by the CJ Welfare Foundation. This completed a sustainable system of collection, recycling and donation for its eco-friendly activities throughout the campaign. *CJ Group’s donation platform supporting various cultural and educational activities for vulnerable communities. The Dream Cultivation Environmental Contest award ceremony artwork With the donated funds, CJ Donors Camp launched a youth art contest last summer. The program selected about 40 local community service centers nationwide and provided activity funds that empowered participants to freely create content with environmental messages. The children from community child centers participated in various programs based on creative activities, raising awareness of the climate crisis and committing to environmental protection practices. Some of the environmental awareness activities included picking up trash and cooking vegetarian meals to teach the importance of sustainability.
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