Amazon India has announced its commitment to eliminate single-use plastic from its packaging by June 2020. This development comes close on the heels of Flipkart announcing a similar initiative.
A press release from Amazon India said as part of this change it will introduce ‘paper cushions’ which will replace plastic dunnage like air pillows and bubble wraps across its fulfilment centers in India.
According to Amazon, this environment-friendly and fully recyclable packaging solution has already been launched in select fulfilment centers (FC) and will be extended across all FCs of Amazon in the country by the end of the year.
The online marketplace has ensured that its packaging material in the form of corrugate boxes and paper cushions contains as high as 100 percent recycled content and is also fully recyclable. The plastic currently used in packaging mailers and bubble bags is made of 20 percent recycled content, and is also recyclable.
“Amazon India is aggressively developing plastic-free alternatives for packaging mailers, bubble bags, stretch wrap, and tape used in the packaging which will help the company eliminate all forms of plastic used in its packaging,” it said.
The company has pledged to collect plastic, equivalent to all of the plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfilment network in the country from September 2019. This is an extension of the initiative which has been underway in Maharashtra for a year.
Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfillment, Amazon India, said, “We have been relentlessly working on reducing single-use plastic in our supply chain. Today, less than seven percent of our packaging material consists of single-use plastic and we are working towards eliminating usage of them completely in our buildings in India by June 2020. We will also help educate our sellers who directly fulfill customer orders to join us in this directional change in packaging.”
In line with its commitment to sustainability, Amazon India launched Packaging-Free Shipments (PFS) last year and has expanded to 13 cities in less than a year. With packaging-free shipments, the company minimises secondary packaging required for individual shipments by securing multiple shipments together in a reusable crate or a corrugate box.
This was introduced to reduce waste generated from secondary packaging of customer orders. With the introduction of paper dunnage and PFS, Amazon India aims to minimise plastic generated throughout its supply chain and ensure secure deliveries of its customer orders.
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