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Amazon India moves towards plastic-free packaging

Sep 4, 2019, 2:17 pm

Amazon India has taken a unique initiative as it has decided to move towards plastic-free packing. It also aims to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by June 2020. They are going to replace the plastic dunnage with the paper cushions in all Amazon India Fulfillment Centers by the end of 2019.

Yesterday Amazon India announced that the company is going to remove single-use plastic from its packaging by June 2020 and replace them with ‘paper cushions’. All the plastic dunnage, like air pillows, bubble wraps, etc will be eliminated from its fulfillment centers in India. These plastic dunnage are currently used in packaging mailers and bubble bags is made of 20% recycled content which also makes them recyclable.

According to an official report, Amazon plans to use paper cushions to fill the void space inside packages to ensure that the product is well protected during the transiting process. This new packaging solution is environmentally friendly and fully recyclable. The company has already launched the solution in select fulfillment centers and will be extended across all fulfillment centers of Amazon in the country by the end of this year.

The company has taken care to see that the packaging material in the form of corrugated boxes and paper cushions contains 100% recycled content and is also fully recyclable. Amazon India is already looking for plastic-free alternatives for packaging mailers, bubble bags, stretch wrap and tape used in the packaging which will help it to get rid of all forms of plastic used in packaging.

Amazon is currently collecting and recycling plastic packaging materials and claims to collect all of the plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfillment network in the country from September 2019. This is a part of the initiative which has been underway in the State of Maharashtra for a year.

An Amazon initiative

  •  60% of the Amazon Pantry orders are now delivered in totes which have enabled the removal of secondary packaging.
  • All plastic dunnage across the Amazon fulfillment centers in India will be replaced with paper cushions by the end of the year.
  • Amazon India has partnered with brands to develop eCommerce friendly packaging. As of July 2019, they doubled the number of instances where products were shipped with only the manufacturer’s packaging.
  • In 2018, we doubled the instances of a customer receiving a box with multiple products in it, thus reducing packaging material used.

Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimize the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create Eco-friendly packaging. With the introduction of paper dunnage we are able to eliminate a significant use of plastic while continuing to protect customer orders – Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfillment of Amazon India

He went on saying that they are working hard to come up with a substitute for the plastic.

“We have been relentlessly working on reducing single-use plastic in our supply chain. Today, less than 7% of our packaging material consists of single-use plastic and we are working towards eliminating the usage of them completely in our buildings by June 2020. We will also help educate our sellers who directly fulfill customer orders to join us in this directional change in packaging. This investment in protecting the environment ensures a triple win – it is good for our planet, good for our customers and community, and good for the business.”

In addition to this, Amazon India also plans to install large-scale solar panel systems at 8 fulfillment centers and 2 sortation centers. They hope that these panels will generate almost 9 megawatts units of solar energy by the end of the year to support the annual energy needs of these buildings, reducing dependency on conventional sources of energy. These major steps taken by Amazon are a part of its global sustainability goal to help achieve Shipment Zero. It also aims to make all Amazon shipments carbon-free with 50% of all shipments having net zero carbon by 2030.

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