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>> A dark room in the middle of Shanghai grazing for the garbage Armageddon, after the epic discount shopping extravaganza Single's Day sent more than 300,000,000 packages into circulation. Now experts are warning of a massive environmental fallout, from an estimated 160,000 tons of waste. Reuters David Stanway visited a processing plant soon to be hit by a storm of trash.
>> Greenpeace have called this event a catastrophe for the environment. There's millions of meters of plastic tape, plastic packaging. There's thousands and thousands of cardboard boxes used each year. And Greenpeace says that the recycling facilities aren't yet in place. And the policies also aren't strict enough to ensure that online commerce companies or the courier companies do their duties and deal with this mounting waste that we're seeing.
>> China's love affair with online shopping goes well beyond just one big event a year. In 2015 its courier company delivered around 20 billion orders, generating 8 billion plastic bags, 10 billion boxes, and enough sticky tape to go around the globe more than 400 times. Now environmentalists are piling the pressure on companies to change.
>> The great online commercial giants like Alibaba and have promised to do something about these problems. They said by the end of the decade they will raise the amount of biodegradable material used in the packaging to 80%. They have promised to use less tape. They have put in place measures that will allow couriers to share their boxes and to recycle more of their packaging materials.
But for environmental groups, the only solution to this problem that's viable is for the consumer to actually consume less.>> But China's obsession with online shopping is only heating up. Last year, around 30 billion packages were delivered to consumers. Next year, that number is expected to rise to 50 billion.