Amazon's Plastic Problem | Oceana Canada

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Amazon's Plastic Problem

Amazon is playing a big role in ocean plastic pollution. It generated an estimated 211 million kilograms of plastic packaging waste last year, comprised of the air pillows, bubble wrap and other plastic packaging items added to the approximately seven billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019. This amount of plastic packaging waste, in the form of air pillows, would circle the Earth more than 500 times. Of this, an estimated 10.18 million kilograms of Amazon’s plastic packaging waste entered and polluted the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems in 2019, the equivalent of dumping a delivery van payload of plastic into the oceans every 70 minutes. 

In Canada, Amazon’s plastic footprint is disproportionately large, generating an estimated 21.3 million kilograms of plastic waste in 2019 – 1.2 times more than in India, and more than Japan, Brazil, Spain and Mexico combined.  

Oceana is calling on Amazon to reduce its plastic footprint and: 

  • Listen to its customers: As an immediate measure, Amazon should give its customers what they want and offer plastic-free packaging as an option at checkout. 

  • Be fully transparent and hold itself accountable for its plastic footprint and environmental impact as it already has for climate change: Amazon should report on its plastic footprint on a regular basis. This data should be independently verified.  

  • Eliminate plastic packaging as it has already done in India. Amazon should also increase products shipped in reusable containers and adopt policies that can be demonstrated to reduce plastic pollution, rather than making empty claims about “recyclability.” 

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