Amazon deliveries, 100% recyclable bags and boxes

The company has avoided the use of more than 1 billion single-use plastic delivery bags across Europe

Deliveries increasingly green thanks to 100% recyclable packaging. The revolution that affects all European shipping comes from the giant Amazon includes everyone
items sold by Amazon and by third-party sales partners who rely on the Amazon Fulfillment service for shipments. Customers receive packages in envelopes flexible paper, corrugated cardboard envelopes and boxes, which are easily recyclable at home throughout Europe. Over the past year, Amazon has also increased the number of products shipped without additional Amazon packaging in Europe by more than 50%. Thanks to these combined initiatives the company estimates it has avoided the use of over 1 billion envelopes for deliveries to disposable plastic in its European distribution network since 2019.

Amazon is working with sellers to increase the number of products delivered to packages originals in paper and cardboard, easy to open, recyclable and ready to be shipped to customers without additional Amazon packaging. THE products they are shipped with the sole addition of the label with the delivery address. When packaging is still necessary, the company aims to use lighter and appropriately sized packaging in order to reduce waste and emissions, while ensuring products arrive safely.

“We are thrilled that our European distribution network is now using recyclable packaging for customer orders,” he said Pat Lindner, vice president of Amazon’s Mechatronics and Sustainable Packaging division. “This is a further demonstration of our commitment to being a leader in sustainability and we will continue to invest in innovative technologies, machine learning and more sustainable materials to ensure that packaging, whether used by us or other companies, has a positive impact on our customers, communities and the planet.”

Some of the innovative packaging that Amazon is trialling in Europe include paper-only padded envelopes, reusable delivery bags and incentives for retail partners to reduce their packaging. For each shipment that requires packaging, Amazon uses science-based systems to determine the type and size of packaging needed. The machine learning helps the company determine which smaller products are suitable for flexible packaging, such as paper bags, which are up to 90% lighter than similarly sized boxes.

Over the last five years these algorithms have reduced the use of cardboard boxes by more than 35%. Amazon uses the algorithms also to help its distribution centers have the correct variety of different sized boxes, as well as to reduce packaging for multi-item shipments. Packaging is just one of the areas where Amazon is innovating and investing to become a leader in sustainability.

The company is in fact co-founder and first signatory of the Climate Pledgea commitment to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2040. As part of this commitment, Amazon is working to power 100% of its operations from renewable sources by 2025 and has more than 9,000 electric vehicles for deliveries in the global fleet of its delivery service partners. To find out more about Amazon’s commitment to sustainability you can consult the latest Sustainability Report.