Amazon India eliminates 100% single-use plastic in packaging across its fulfilment centres

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on June 29, 2020 Published on June 29, 2020

Most of the positions are part of Amazon’s ‘Virtual Customer Service’ programme that provides flexible work-from-home options   -  Nagara Gopal@thehindu

Amazon India has achieved a significant milestone in its efforts towards sustainability by eliminating all single-use plastic in packaging originating from its 50 plus fulfilment centres in India. In September 2019, the company had pledged to meet this goal by June 2020, in an effort to build an environmentally sustainable supply chain.

The first milestone towards this goal was achieved in December 2019 when the company replaced plastic packaging material, such as bubblewrap and air pillows, with ‘paper cushion’ in its packaging. The company then introduced 100 per cent plastic-free and biodegradable paper tape earlier this year, which is used to seal and secure customer shipments. Additionally, the company has replaced thin cling films for customer deliveries among other material with packaging options that are not single-use plastic in nature. All other plastic packaging material originating from the Amazon Fulfilment Centers is 100 per cent recyclable through available collection, segregation and recycling channels. Amazon India also continues to educate sellers, who directly fulfil customer orders, to join in this directional change in packaging.

“The elimination of single-use plastic in our packaging across our fulfilment centers marks an important milestone in our relentless journey towards building a sustainable supply chain. Our aim is to minimize environmental impact while elevating customer experience. While navigating through unprecedented challenges with the lockdown and pandemic in the last few months, we have continued to take progressive steps towards ensuring that we meet our commitment. We strongly believe that moving towards sustainable practices is good for the planet, the customers and the business, and we will continue to invest and innovate on this front” said Prakash Kumar Dutta, Director, Customer Fulfilment & Supply Chain, Amazon India.

Amazon India has carried out several pilots while developing innovative single-use plastic-free solutions, to gauge the in-transit strength of its packaging. The company has also collaborated with manufacturers to design sustainable packaging innovations to minimize waste in packaging. The pilots have enabled the company to make significant steps towards its sustainability goals without impacting the customer experience or product safety.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it has expanded its India-first initiative, Packaging-Free Shipping (PFS) to over 100 cities — currently more than 40 per cent of Amazon customer orders shipped from Amazon India’s Fulfilment centers are now either packaging-free or have significantly reduced packaging. The company has also been collecting and recycling plastic waste equivalent to its usage at a national level from September 2019, and has identified collection agencies to help collect the equivalent of 100 per cent plastic waste generated from usage across the Amazon fulfilment network.

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Published on June 29, 2020
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