Amazon plastic waste increased 29% during pandemic

“We understand people need Amazon. And so we’re hoping Amazon can fix this problem and become a leader in reducing plastic, which is really important for the oceans.”

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Online retailer Amazon generated a third more plastic waste in 2020 than from 2019 says a report from the environmental organization, Oceana. 

The 599 million pounds of waste from plastic packaging Amazon wasted last year ends up in places like the world’s oceans causing so much harm and destruction to the environment and wildlife. 

The report estimated that the amount of packaging ⁠— which includes plastic bags, air pillows, and bubble-lined paper mailers⁠ — that ends up in the world’s oceans equaled a delivery van full of plastic dumping its contents into the sea every 67 minutes, writes EcoWatch.  

Amazon replied by saying they disagreed with Oceana’s data claiming: “Amazon shares Oceana’s ambition to protect the world’s oceans and respects their work but, for a second year, their calculations are seriously flawed. They have overestimated our plastics usage by more than 300 percent, and use outdated assumptions about the sources of plastic waste entering our oceans.”

But Oceana Senior Vice President Matt Littlejohn says: “We are using the best data available to us. If Amazon was transparent, we would gladly use their data. Yes, they are using more non-plastic packaging, but they are also selling a ton more product.” 

According to Oceana, by combining the e-commerce packaging data with findings from a recent study published in Science they were able to find their data. 

“We understand people need Amazon. And so we’re hoping Amazon can fix this problem and become a leader in reducing plastic, which is really important for the oceans,” says Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s senior vice-president. 

In May, more than a third of Amazon shareholders voted for a resolution calling on it to quantify its single-use plastic and provide recommendations on how to reduce its plastic footprint by the end of the year, reports The Guardian

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