by Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star, 31 Dec 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants online platforms to address issues on trust and plastic waste which may affect the growth of e-commerce.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency is enjoining e-commerce platforms to have mechanisms in place to address consumer complaints and help build trust.
Recognizing the need to instill trust and confidence in the use of online platforms, Lazada Philippines said it is implementing initiatives to educate shoppers on how to shop safely and securely online.
The e-commerce platform also has a mechanism for resolving consumer complaints and for penalizing sellers for poor customer service.
As e-commerce has accelerated with both businesses and consumers forced to turn to online platforms due to the pandemic, it has also given rise to plastic waste, with plastic being used for packaging.
“We have advised platforms already since last year to minimize the use of their plastic,” Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said.
She said the e-commerce platforms have committed to reduce the use of plastic in their packaging.
Lazada said it has rolled out several initiatives with brand merchants and other industry partners to equip consumers with the knowledge to make more informed and discerning consumption choices and to have access to sustainable packaging options.
The platform said it recently partnered with Starbucks to offer accessories and drinkware made from recycled coffee grounds on its virtual mall LazMall.
It also said it teamed up with beauty company L’Oréal Group for the use of alternative sustainable packaging materials for Garnier, Maybelline and L’Oréal Paris products purchased through the respective LazMall flagship stores in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.
“Lazada will continue to remain committed to making a meaningful impact in sustainable e-commerce and keep sustainability at the core of our strategic plans,” the platform said.
For his part, Zalora Philippines co-founder and chief executive officer Paulo Campos III said the online shopping platform has been undertaking efforts to reduce the impact of its operations.
He said the platform has diverted 86 percent of its warehouse waste in Southeast Asia from landfills and into recycling centers.
He also said 68 percent of delivery and internal packaging is now made of sustainable materials, while delivery flyers incorporate 80 percent of recycled plastic.
“We are also working with key partners in developing more sustainable packaging options, which we will be announcing soon,” he said.
Lopez said the DTI expects e-commerce to continue to grow even beyond the pandemic, given the advantages in terms of convenience, wide choice of offerings, as well as deals and discounts.
The e-commerce roadmap released by the DTI earlier this year aims to increase the contribution of e-commerce to the economy to P1.2 trillion, or 5.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, from P850 billion or 4.3 percent of GDP in 2021 and P599 billion or 3.4 percent in 2020.
It is also targeting to have one million enterprises go online by 2022 and 750,000 in 2021 from the baseline of 500,000 in 2020.