Alibaba Cloud, Covestro Partnership Improves Supply Chain Transparency of Recycled Plastics 

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Alibaba Cloud, Covestro Partnership Improves Supply Chain Transparency of Recycled Plastics 

  • Value chain partners are able to trace materials with enhanced transparency
  • The joint solution helps build trust among environmentally conscious consumers

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Alibaba Cloud is teaming up with polymer material manufacturer Covestro to launch a sustainability solution to enhance supply chain transparency for recycled plastics.

Recycled plastics account for just 6% of total global plastics production, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the bulk of used plastic sitting in landfills.

The recent partnership is working to tackle this worldwide problem.

By combining data insights from Alibaba Cloud’s carbon management platform Energy Expert with Covestro’s production capabilities, industrial companies will be able to give their plastics new life as sustainable polycarbonate.

“This partnership exemplifies the transformative power of technology in creating a more sustainable future,” said William Xiong, Vice President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and General Manager of International Industry Solutions.

The joint solution from Alibaba Cloud and Covestro will enable a range of industries to be more transparent in recycled plastics use and promote closer synergy between the upstream and downstream in sustainable development.

From Bottles to Pens

The joint solution helped Chinese beverage maker Nongfu Spring to recycle its water barrels and turn them into consumer goods, slashing 5.85 grams of carbon emissions per item in the production process.

The plastic bottles were washed, flaked and then turned into gel pens. Energy Expert captured the carbon emission data at each stage in the production process and provided suggestion to optimize the carbon footprint in the production.

“With our joint solutions, we are supporting our customers to improve their supply chain transparency while building trust among environmentally conscious consumers, thereby driving industries towards a greener future,” said Lily Wang, Global Head of Engineering Plastics Business Entity at Covestro.

Consumers can scan a QR code and trace the materials from their source, through the manufacturing process to the final product.

For example, it shows that 1400 tonnes of 19 Liter water barrels from Nongfu Spring were collected and recycled, with each water barrel reproduced into 156 gel pens, achieving a carbon emission reduction of 1,825 grams in the process.

Traceability Through Technology

Companies are increasingly viewing sustainability in their entire supply chain as essential to their company image and profitability.

According to a 2022 survey from consulting firm Ernest & Young, visibility throughout the supply chain is the top priority for supply chain executives.

Alibaba Cloud’s Energy Expert is on hand to help.

The platform records and measures carbon emissions throughout the production lifecycle and leverages blockchain technology to create a transparent and tamper-proof record of recycled materials’ journey to become new products.

It has helped Master Kong, the instant noodles and beverage giant in China, to document its recycling initiative of turning waste plastic bottles into recyclable PET pellets.

20,000 recycled PET storage boxes were sold during the project. The carbon footprint of each PET storage box was 21% smaller than if it were made from virgin PET material, as measured by Energy Expert.

Alibaba CloudSustainability
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