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Amazon India accelerate sustainable packaging strategy

By Sasha Fedorenko September 12, 2019 - 11:39 am

Amazon India are accelerating their commitment to eliminate single-use plastic from their packaging by June 2020, marking a significant step towards the introduction of paper cushions to replace plastic dunnage such as air pillows and bubble wraps in their fulfilment centres.

Amazon are taking sustainable steps in their movement towards reducing the environmental footprint. This path will see the marketplace turning to a fully recyclable packaging solution which has already been launched in select fulfilment centres (FC) and will be extended across all FCs of Amazon in the country by the end of the year.

The move builds on Amazon’s previous ‘green’ pledge 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 the State of Maharashtra for a year.

“Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimise the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create eco-friendly packaging. With the introduction of paper dunnage we are able to eliminate a significant use of plastic while continuing to protect customer orders.”

“We have been relentlessly working on reducing single-use plastic in our supply chain. Today, less than 7% of our packaging material consists of single-use plastic and we are working towards eliminating the usage of them completely in our buildings in India by June 2020. We will also help educate our sellers who directly fulfil customer orders to join us in this directional change in packaging. This investment in protecting the environment ensures a triple win – it is good for our planet, good for our customers and community, and good for the business.”
– Akhil Saxena, vice president, customer fulfilment, Amazon India.

In line with their 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 corrugated box.

This was introduced to reduce waste generated from secondary packaging of customer orders. With the introduction of paper dunnage and PFS, Amazon India aim to minimise plastic generated throughout their supply chain and ensure secure deliveries of their customer orders.

Eco-friendly packaging initiatives

  • All plastic dunnage across the Amazon fulfilment centres in India will be replaced with paper cushions by the end of the year.
  • 60% of the Amazon Pantry orders are now delivered in totes which have enabled the removal of secondary packaging.
  • Packaging free shipment (PFS) now expanded to 13 cities within a year.

Amazon’s other initiatives in India include installations of large-scale solar panel systems at eight fulfilment centres and two sortation centres.

This investment will help Amazon India generate close to 9 megawatts units of solar energy by the end of the year to support the annual energy needs of these buildings, reducing dependency on conventional sources of energy. These investments are part of Amazon’s long-term goal to power their global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy.

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