EUROPE – E-commerce giant Amazon has unveiled that its entire European fulfilment network now exclusively employs 100% recyclable packaging for all customer orders.
This initiative encompasses items sold by Amazon itself and those of its third-party selling partners affiliated with Fulfilment by Amazon.
Customers throughout Europe will now receive their orders in flexible paper bags, cardboard envelopes, or corrugated cardboard boxes, all devoid of any additional packaging. These materials are easily recyclable through household recycling streams after use.
Amazon has collaborated with vendors across Europe to ensure that a maximum number of its products are delivered in their ‘easy-to-open original packaging.’
Moreover, this recyclable packaging can be shipped directly to customers with an address label, eliminating the need for additional Amazon packaging.
In instances where extra packaging is still necessary, Amazon endeavors to use lighter and appropriately sized packaging. This strategy ensures secure delivery while minimizing the carbon footprint and waste generation.
Pat Lindner, Amazon’s Vice President of Sustainable Packaging and Mechatronics, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We are thrilled that our European fulfilment network has transitioned to recyclable packaging for customer orders.
“This move is part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability. We will continue investing in innovative technology, machine learning, and sustainable materials to ensure packaging—whether used by us or others—is beneficial for our customers, communities, and the planet.”
Over the past year, Amazon has escalated the number of products shipped without additional packaging to over 50% in Europe.
By combining various initiatives, the company estimates that it has prevented the use and circulation of more than ‘one billion single-use plastic delivery bags’ across its European distribution network since 2019.
Additionally, Amazon is currently experimenting with diverse new technologies and innovations in Europe to further enhance the sustainability of its packaging.
These initiatives encompass paper-made padded envelopes, reusable delivery bags, and incentivizing selling partners to minimize their packaging.
The company has also introduced new automated packing technology to reduce packaging requirements for a wide array of everyday items.
Back in May 2022, nearly 49% of Amazon’s shares voted in favour of the retailer addressing its use of plastics at its Annual General Meeting, according to Oceana.
This was accompanied by a report suggesting that Amazon had generated around 709 million pounds of plastic waste through e-commerce sales in 2021, exceeding its 2020 estimate of 599 million pounds by 18%.
Since then, the company has made a number of announcements related to changes within its packaging portfolio – such as trialing automated packaging machines for on-demand, made-to-measure paper bags that seek to cut down on pack volume and weight, and encouraging brands to deliver items in their original packaging, negating the need for extra packaging during delivery.