Reverse Logistics Challenges
Implementing reverse logistics in Brazil presents some considerable challenges
Law is not discussed. Compliance with it is necessary. And in Brazil, Reverse Logistics (or Inverse, as some prefer) is regulated by federal legislation (there are also state and municipal rules on the subject). In 2010, the Union enacted Law 12,350 , which creates the National Solid Waste Policy and also published, in the same year, Decree 7404, which regulates the PNRS.
However, only a few products were mentioned in the 2010 legal text:
- lubricating oils, their waste and packaging;
- fluorescent lamps, sodium and mercury vapor and mixed light;
- electronic products and their components.
These were, at the time, considered the products with the greatest environmental impact. But, in fact, the Brazilian problems in this field are much bigger. According to the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies, in 2018, 79 million tons of solid waste were generated in the country, 40.5% of which was dumped in inappropriate places. This data shows us the size of the challenge we face.
The products listed above are not the only ones that contaminate the environment. But it’s already a start to know that legislators had some kind of concern about the destination of these goods after consumption. It is a pity that the environmental inspection bodies have few resources in Brazil. The PNRS has been in full effect since 2014, when the deadline for adapting the respective sectors expired. Even with problems in controlling the legislation, the aforementioned segments have sought to adapt, not only because of the fines (which are heavy), but also because of public judgment. The consumer can be severe with those who cause environmental damage.
However, implementing reverse logistics in Brazil presents some considerable challenges.
- Dissemination of the National Policy on Solid Waste and Reverse Logistics: even after 12 years of existence, few people are aware of the PNRS and an even smaller number know what Reverse Logistics is. Without the disclosure of the legal text, it becomes difficult to enforce it. There are few communication vehicles that make room for this subject.
- Collective awareness: Brazilian consumers still need to be educated when it comes to recycling. That is, it is not enough to know that Reverse Logistics exists. It is also necessary to encourage people to adhere to this new practice, separating what, in fact, is not garbage.
- Collection points for Reverse Logistics: it is very difficult to find points where the consumer can deposit fluorescent lamps, electronic products, batteries and tires, for example. Lubricating oils and pesticides already have more structured Reverse Logistics chains, but even so, with some regional voids.
- Conflict of interests: those who sell original raw materials do not want to know about competition from recycled materials, which are usually cheaper, after building the reverse supply chain. This ends up hindering the implementation of projects, which could be developed by the raw material suppliers themselves. That is, what appears to be a problem can become a business opportunity.
- Challenges in transport: the main mode of transport in Brazil is road, responsible for 60% of everything that is moved in the national territory. An expensive modal, by the way. Reverse Logistics products have low added value, so road transport makes the supply chain more expensive. The ideal would be to use river or cabotage navigation, which is little explored in our country.
- Challenges in reuse: according to the TecHoje website, “the industrial park of reverse chains for the reuse of used products in Brazil is characterized by its geographical dispersion and for being made up of micro or small companies, with intensive use of labor and low technology, resulting in low productivity. The most recent estimates for Brazil reveal that the existing capacities will not be sufficient to handle the quantities foreseen by the PNRS. Reuse processes with appropriate technology and work standards, as well as other industrial processes, can be carried out with productivity and business success. Normally, products that have had their recycling or remanufacturing carried out with rigorous processes and in correct conditions,
- Reverse Logistics costs: yes. Reverse Logistics operating costs are high. Is it worth investing in it, from a financial point of view? In the long run, it’s worth it. But it all depends on the scale involved. Still, according to the techoje.com.br website, some suggestions may reduce the financial impact of this implementation:
- “Adequacy of product designs to reuse needs, reducing the costs involved. This involves standardizing materials, reducing welds and permanent connections, identifying parts, using traceability concepts, etc.
- Efficient organization of the Reverse Logistics activity network: ways of collection, transport, location of these activities, intermediate processing, etc.
- Increased activity scales in all areas of the post-consumer reverse chains, providing better technologies, consistency and quality in activities.
- Deployment of solid waste treatment technologies with high performance for larger scales.
- Allocation of adequate resources for training qualified labor and equipment resources.
- Adequacy of government solutions and incentives for industrial and commercial areas that are involved with the execution of Reverse Logistics programs. This aspect is of vital importance insofar as, in addition to the well-known redundant taxation that greatly burdens reused products and their subsequent use, incentives in the form of financing for technological improvements, special transport conditions, among other measures and necessary innovations would be necessary. to this area, which could generate a considerable reverse economy GDP, in addition to a considerable number of jobs.”
In addition to the items mentioned in the PNRS, we must understand that the term Reverse Logistics also applies to the return of products that consumers did not like or that were defective. That is, the consumption experience did not come to an end, as something interrupted this process, such as the buyer’s disappointment or a punctual failure of the purchased item. Today this process is done at Post Office agencies or in physical stores. Opening a customer service channel for this purpose, which is agile and resolute, is currently essential.
At Águia Sistemas, we can help anyone planning to build structures to better process Reverse Logistics products. Our Automation Systems can help in identifying the items produced and the Transfer Systems from Águia Sistemas would be very helpful in separating the goods, including garbage that is not garbage. We can cite as an example the Motorized Conveyors, using models with Merge/Sorter, equipped with sensor systems, for each type of waste. Contact us.
( The text above was written with information from the websites saniplanengenharia.com.br, vgresiduos.com.br, soluciona.com.br, approach.com.br and techoje.com.br)