Amazon Aims to Reduce Packaging Waste

Amazon Aims to Reduce Packaging Waste

Amazon is working toward reducing its use of packaging and now has millions of orders arriving to customers with no extra box.

The retail giant has made changes both in-house and in conjunction with suppliers and vendors to reduce the need for extra packaging, and 11% of the items it sells now ship to consumers in just the manufacturer’s container, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday (Aug. 11).

In one change, the company has realigned its logistics network so that items don’t have to travel as far as they used to, according to the report. Today, items travel 15% less distance and are handled 12% fewer times during shipping.

Amazon also works with manufacturers to redesign their packaging so that it is strong enough to withstand the shipping process, without having to be put inside another box, the report said. In some cases, it also makes the containers smaller, so they are less expensive to ship.

The company tests packages to determine if they are well-designed for shipping and shares the design with other suppliers of similar products, per the report.

When designing a package, Amazon and manufacturers consider not only its strength, but also its appeal to consumers, its sustainability, the fragility of the product it contains, and whether its contents should be concealed for reasons of security or privacy, according to the report.

Amazon is making these moves to reduce costs and to provide eco-friendly solutions that respond to consumers who have voiced concerns over the amount of packaging that is used, the report said. Customers are often able to choose at checkout whether they want extra packaging.

“The recognition by a number of senior leaders was just that this is becoming more and more important,” Amazon Vice President of Packaging and Innovation Pat Lindner said in the report.

A similar effort was launched by Visa and Uber Eats in January. The companies have partnered to give restaurants access to a $1 million fund for sustainable packaging.

Uber Global Head of Delivery Pierre-Dmitri Gore-Coty said at the time that the fund aims to reduce the waste caused by single-use packaging.