Amazon recently published data on its plastic packaging footprint and sustainability efforts. But while the online giants see progress, environmental groups see picky numbers.
In mid-December, Amazon published a blog post highlighting ways to use less single-use plastic and increase recycled content in shipping packaging. The post says the company uses 97,222 tonnes (over £214 million) of single-use plastic packaging worldwide, including bags and padded envelopes.
The company also noted that it has reduced the average weight of plastic packaging per shipment by more than 7% in 2021. We also increased the recycled content of film bag packaging we ship in the US from 25% to 50%, reducing our use of more than 30,000 tons (66 million pounds) of virgin plastic.
According to Amazon, the 214 million pounds of single-use plastic used includes shipments shipped through Amazon-owned and operated fulfillment centers in multiple countries, as well as shipping packaging used by Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. include.
By the way, according to data from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, this £214 million is a little more than the plastic packaging used by SC Johnson, but a little less than the Clorox Company.
Environmental group Oceana has been critical of the disclosure, stressing that £214m is “just a fraction of the company’s global plastic packaging footprint”.
In a press release, Oceana said this figure excludes orders placed on Amazon’s e-commerce platform that were fulfilled through third-party sellers. Oceana said Amazon declined to disclose what percentage of its total sales come from orders fulfilled by third parties.
A recent Bloomberg study also found that Amazon plastic ends up in illegal dumpsites in India. Although the country has banned the import of plastic waste, materials such as flexible food packaging and shipping envelopes still flow through bales of contaminated mixed paper. Amazon did not comment to Bloomberg on the findings.
Oceana also touted a 7% reduction in the average weight of plastic packaging per shipment in 2021, but did not disclose how much its overall plastic packaging footprint increased from 2020 to 2021. pointed out it wasn’t. in company business.
Oceana, using a proprietary methodology, estimated that Amazon generated 709 million pounds of plastic packaging in 2021. For comparison, Amazon uses more packaging than the Colgate-Palmolive Company and less than Henkel, according to data from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
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