Amazon has replaced single-use plastic delivery bags and envelopes for paper and cardboard for the packing of goods sent through its distribution network in the UK. It includes items sold by Amazon as well as third-party selling partners that use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
Customers will now be receiving packages in flexible paper bags and cardboard envelopes instead, which are more easily recyclable in household recycling across the UK, are made with more recycled content, and reduce volume compared to deliveries in corrugated cardboard boxes.
Larger deliveries will still arrive in cardboard boxes, however. Amazon is also increasing the number of products that can be shipped in their original packaging provided by the manufacturer, with only an address label added.
“We have made changes in our supply network that enable us to remove single-use plastic delivery bags in the UK,” said John Boumphrey, UK country manager, Amazon. “Customers are already receiving more deliveries in easily recyclable paper and cardboard, and we will keep innovating and finding ways to use more sustainable packaging.”
However, the company warned that some products may still arrive in plastics packaging. For example, more than 50% of sales come from third-party selling partners, many of which are small and medium-sized businesses who sell to Amazon customers via the Amazon store, and who may ship directly.
When a product comes in a single-use plastic bag from the manufacturer and the bag is suitable, Amazon will deliver the product to the customer in the manufacturer-supplied bag. It said an additional single-use plastic bag may be added to the paper and cardboard packaging in certain weather conditions, for example to protect orders that are left on the door steps of our customers from rain.
Amazon claims that since 2015, it has reduced the weight of outbound packaging per shipment by more than 36%, and eliminated more than 1 million tonnes of packaging material, the equivalent of two billion shipping boxes.