In the UK, Amazon ditches single-use plastic bags

  • 2022-04-06
Amazon has announced that it has stopped packaging products in single-use plastic courier bags and envelopes across its UK distribution network. This includes items sold by Amazon and third-party selling partners that use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Customers will now receive parcels in flexible paper bags and cardboard envelopes, which are easier to recycle at home recycling in the UK, contain more recycled content and reduce bulk compared to shipping in corrugated boxes.
"We have transformed our supply network to enable us to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags in the UK," commented John Boumphrey, Amazon UK country manager. "Customers have already received more paper and cardboard that is easy to recycle, and we will continue to innovate and find ways to use more sustainable packaging."
However, in a few cases, customers in the UK may still receive products in plastic packaging.
Although Amazon controls the packaging of items shipped directly to customers from its own fulfillment centers, more than 50% of sales come from third-party selling partners, many of which are small and medium-sized businesses selling to Amazon customers through Amazon Stores.
When the product is in a single-use plastic bag provided by the manufacturer and the bag is suitable, Amazon will deliver the product to the customer in the bag provided by the manufacturer. This avoids adding unnecessary extra packaging.
Plastic preparation materials, such as bubble wrap, can still be used if necessary, for fragile items such as protective glass.
Under certain weather conditions, Amazon may require an additional single-use plastic bag to be added to the paper and cardboard packaging to protect orders left on customer doorsteps from rain.
From cartons to flexible bags, Amazon is working to improve the sustainability of its packaging. The company has the right-sized packaging to match products that use less material and increase the recycled content in the production process. Since 2015, Amazon has reduced outbound packaging weight per shipment by more than 36% and eliminated more than 1 million tons of packaging material, the equivalent of 2 billion shipping boxes.

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