The new program — Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations — enables sellers to store their inventory in the eCommerce giant’s warehouses in the U.S. and U.K., and then donate those items to a variety of charities, according to CNBC. While the program will become the default option for all sellers that store products in Amazon warehouses in both countries starting on Sept. 1, they will also have the choice to opt out if they wish.
In the U.S., Amazon is working with Good360, which partners with retailers and consumer goods companies to source highly-needed products and distribute them through a network of nonprofits that support people in need. In the U.K., Amazon is working with charities including Newlife, Salvation Army, and Barnardo’s, according to an Amazon blog post.
The program comes after recent reports revealed that Amazon routinely discards unsold inventory, with one French TV documentary estimating the company destroyed over 3 million products in France last year. That number is likely to be much larger in the United States, which accounts for the majority of Amazon’s sales.
“This program will reduce the number of products sent to landfills and instead help those in need,” Amazon wrote in an email to sellers, CNBC reported.
Sellers seem happy about the FBA announcement, saying the program will make it more affordable to donate their unwanted inventory. Amazon currently charges 50 cents to return unsold inventory to sellers, but the company will only charge 15 cents for disposal.
“We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities,” Alice Shobe, director of Amazon in the Community, said in the blog post. “We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfillment services.”