How Amazon is reducing packaging
The materials most commonly used in packaging by all kinds of companies have been the same for decades- ranging from paper and plastic to aluminum and glass. Like most other retailers, we leverage a variety of packaging options for product shipping to optimize for strong durability, light weight, and optimal size, including paper-based options, such as boxes and paperboard envelopes - and plastics, such as envelopes and bags. Many retailers adopted plastics for some shipments because they are lightweight, waterproof, and enable less material to be used. And, because they are light and compact, plastic packaging has generally resulted in lower carbon emissions. However, plastics, especially single-use plastics, are difficult to recycle, so they are more likely to create waste in the long term. Although the plastic packaging Amazon uses today is recyclable, it generally requires our customers to take the materials from their homes to store drop-off locations. As a company that obsesses about our customers, we recognize it’s not the easiest customer experience. This has created a challenge that Amazon is taking head on - how to continue to find ways to minimize carbon emissions, increase recyclability, and reduce waste.