Amazon stops packing products in single-use plastic delivery bags in the UK

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Amazon has announced that it has stopped packing products in single-use plastic delivery bags and envelopes in its distribution network in the UK. This includes items sold by Amazon and 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.

“We have made changes in our supply network that enable us to remove single-use plastic delivery bags in the UK,” commented 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, there are a few instances where customers in the UK may still receive products in plastics packaging.

Although Amazon controls the packaging for items shipped to customers direct from its own Fulfilment Centres, more than 50% of sales comes from third-party selling partners, many of which are small and medium-sized businesses who sell to Amazon customers via the Amazon store.

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. This avoids the addition of unnecessary extra packaging.

Plastic preparation material such as bubble wrap may still be used where necessary, for example to protect fragile items like glass.

In specific weather conditions, Amazon may require to add an additional single-use plastic bag to the paper and cardboard packaging to protect orders that are left on the door steps of our customers from rain.

From cardboard boxes to flexible bags, Amazon is working to improve the sustainability of its packaging. The company has right-sized packages to match the products using less material overall, and has increased the amount of recycled content that goes into making them. Since 2015, Amazon 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.

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