There are significant barriers that hinder the wide application of reverse logistics in some industries of Saudi Arabia. Let me first present the definition of the concept. Iran’s S. Dowlatshahi defined reverse logistics as the process by which a manufacturing entity systematically retrieves previously shipped products or parts from the point-of-consumption for possible recycling, remanufacturing, or disposal.
The main drivers of this process are reaction of legislation toward environment protection, corporate social responsibilities and economic benefits. These drivers worked well in the oil industry of Saudi Arabia. When Saudi’s government prevented oil waste to protect the environment, the market of oil recyclers started to grow and competition rose to provide higher quality of recycled oil, and as a result these recycling manufacturers experienced a realistic return on investment.
However, there are some industries still behind the world class practices in Saudi arabia and the possible reason could be as follow:
Limitations of landfill usage should be created that prevent any wastes that could be recycled and take advantage of it. Although it is written clearly in the environment agency directive, the need of essential collaboration with cities’ authorities to apply it is important.
Although there are some campaigns in different locations, the need for larger campaigns of environmental awareness should be done by different players including Islamic agencies, commercials chambers, cities’ authorities and traditional and new media –- important to accelerate the process.
There is a lack of economic awareness that some recyclable items that go to the landfills by organizations like from furniture manufacturers are valuable.
There should be more encouragement for recycling by the Industrial Developing Fund. This agency will play an important role in extending the recycling manufacturers if they reduce and minimize the requirements of getting funds.
Overcoming these obstacles does not require much effort or huge investment. However, it calls for some legislations and organization to be done by different influential agencies including commercial and government sectors.
Mohammed Alnuwairan is a joint Member of Doctoral Program, Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK; and a Faculty Member of King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia
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