Reverse logistics can be regarded as a characteristic feature of the contemporary business world. It has led to the transformation of the linear model to “a model of closed material-energy cycles” as goods (that have become unnecessary to customers) move to the manufacturer or distributor that reuses some components of the products they produced (Graczyk & Witkowski, 2011, p. 43). This has numerous effects on the environment locally and globally. It is possible to consider the impact of the reverse logistics in Brazil to understand the way it affects environment globally.
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As far as direct effects, it is possible to note that reverse logistics leads to a significant reduction of waste in the area (Corrêa & Xavier, 2013). For instance, such material as plastic is one of the principal pollutants of the environment but reverse logistics can solve issues associated with its use (Graczyk & Witkowski, 2011). The environmental situation in the region has been improving steadily as plastic waste disappears from Brazilian cities. Of course, the size of garbage tips also grows at a slower pace.
This direct impact can also be seen globally as the move towards recycling has proved to have a significant potential as people and organizations are becoming more responsible, and less waste is produced. Thus, the world ocean will be less contaminated, and smaller areas will be used as dumps.
As for indirect effects, it is possible to note that reverse logistics leads to pollution of air due to additional transportation and recycling processes. Apparently, to recycle various materials companies need to construct recycling facilities, which is associated with air, water pollution and the use of additional areas (Corrêa & Xavier, 2013). More so, the recycling process is also linked to harmful emissions. Finally, transportation of goods for recycling is related to additional emissions. Besides, construction of roads leads to disruption of ecosystems. These indirect effects are apparent in Brazil as well as in the entire world.
Of course, this impact is especially alarming when analyzed on the global scale. For instance, if the reverse logistics will be a requirement for all companies worldwide, it may result in the boom in construction of recycling facilities. Companies may also fail to construct efficient facilities, which will lead to high risks of further pollution of air and water. Naturally, this will lead to a significant load on the environment regarding air pollution and land use.
Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that the reverse logistics will be realized in a sustainable manner. For instance, it can be necessary to enact laws that encourage (and sometimes oblige) organizations to recycle some components of the goods they sell. However, it is essential to make sure that the organizations will develop a sustainable system where transportation is minimal and efficient recycling facilities are employed. The abundance of such facilities will lead to excessive pollution and, hence, their number should be regulated.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that reverse logistics has a number of effects on the environment locally and globally. The direct impact is the reduction of the amount of waste. The indirect effect is the pollution associated with transportation and recycling processes. It is clear that reverse logistics should become a norm, but it is crucial to make sure that it will be carried out in a sustainable manner.
Corrêa, H.L., & Xavier, L.H. (2013). Concepts, design and implementation of reverse logistics systems for sustainable supply chains in Brazil. Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management, 6(1), 1-25. Web.
Graczyk, M., & Witkowski, K. (2011). Reverse logistics processes in plastic supply chains. Total Logistic Management, 4(1), 43-55. Web.