An initiative, devised together with the municipality of Amsterdam, to draw attention to cardboard waste on the streets
Utrecht, 10 December – Dutch people shop more and more frequently online and this has a visible effect on the streets. Particularly during the holiday season, piles of cardboard mount up around paper recycling containers. These stray boxes are an ugly sight and dirty cardboard is often no longer suitable for recycling. To do something about cardboard waste on the streets and to raise awareness about how to tackle this problem, in collaboration with Amsterdam City Council, bol.com, has devised the Kartonvreter or ‘cardboard monster’. On 10 and 11 December, this converted refuse collection lorry will drive through Amsterdam-Zuid and Amsterdam-Oost, the southern and eastern suburbs, to collect as much cardboard as possible from people’s homes. Even if the cardboard doesn’t come from bol.com. On completing the collection rounds, the cardboard monster takes its load to the municipality recycling centre where it can be made into new cardboard.
“We are talking to the larger web shops and parcel delivery companies about ways to structurally reduce the amount of cardboard used. I am very curious about the smart solutions the sector will come up with. That bol.com is lending a hand now during the festive season by collecting some of the cardboard is a very welcome contribution. We have a common interest and are jointly responsible for dealing with packaging in a more sustainable way, and so helping make the city cleaner. We also want our residents to help. We ask them to unfold boxes and put the cardboard in the container,” explains Jakob Wedemeijer, City councillor responsible for keeping the city clean.
Use less cardboard
As an online shop, bol.com sends a lot of cardboard. This is why bol.com is looking into ways of using less cardboard itself. “We want to minimise the impact of packaging on the environment. This is why we use boxes made of the thinnest cardboard possible and packing machines that pack to size so we send as little empty space as possible. The changes we made have resulted in us using 12% less cardboard per item last year than the year before,” says Jori Ebskamp, Sustainability Manager at bol.com. “We also send millions of parcels without an extra shipping box if the original packaging is sturdy enough. This saves packaging material and space in the delivery vans. And this brings us another step closer to our ambition of climate-neutral shopping by 2025.”
With this ‘cardboard monster’ initiative, bol.com is investigating what it can do about cardboard waste on the streets. At the same time, the company wants to raise awareness among consumers about how best to dispose of cardboard. For example, by tearing up the cardboard so that more fits in the containers. For the time being, this is a one-off pilot in Amsterdam during December.
Route through Amsterdam-Zuid and Amsterdam-Oost
The ‘cardboard monster’ drives a pre-defined route round Amsterdam and stops at various ‘feeding places’. Here, children and local residents can feed the monster with their cardboard, even if it doesn’t come from bol.com. When the cardboard monster is fed it starts to growl and breathe smoke. This makes throwing cardboard in the lorry fun.
The cardboard monster will start at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam at 12:00 on Friday and will then drive through various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-Zuid. On Saturday 11 December, the cardboard monster will drive through Amsterdam-Oost. On the campaign page, bol.com shows the cardboard monster’s route, so local residents know when they can feed it with cardboard. The page also has some tips about how best to dispose of cardboard and bol.com explains what it is doing to save cardboard.
For more information about the cardboard monster, see: bol.com/kartonvreter
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