Thursday, 30 June 2022 10:07

Amazon ditches plastic pillows for recycled paper in its UK packaging

Amazon will now no longer pack items with plastic air pillows for orders shipped from its fulfilment centres in the UK, replacing it with 100% recycled and recyclable packing paper.

amazon ditch plastic air pillows1This includes items sold directly by Amazon, and by third-party selling partners who ship their products using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). Instead of plastic air pillows, items will be packed with 100% recycled and 100% recyclable packing paper, known as dunnage, which is designed to prevent movement within boxes and keep items safe.

"Packaging that is easy to recycle is important to customers and important to us," said Olivier Pellegrini, Director of Customer Delivery Experience, Amazon. "Ending the use of plastic air pillows is just another step towards packaging that can easily be added to our customers' household recycling."

Amazon customers in Europe may still receive products in plastics packaging under the following circumstances:

When a product comes in a single-use plastic bag from the manufacturer and the bag is suitable, Amazon will deliver the product to the customer in the manufacturer-supplied bag. This avoids the addition of unnecessary extra packaging.

If this bag contains contents that could spill, Amazon may decide to add an outer plastic layer of packaging.

amazon ditch plastic air pillows2Other types of plastic padding material such as bubble wrap may still be used where necessary, for example to protect fragile items like glass.

In specific weather conditions, Amazon may require to add an additional single-use plastic bag to the paper and cardboard packaging to protect orders that are left on the door steps of our customers from rain.

While Amazon controls the packaging for items shipped to customers direct from its own Fulfilment Centres, more than 50% of sales comes from third party selling partners, many of which are small and medium-sized businesses who sell to Amazon customers via the Amazon store. In some cases, the selling partners ship directly to customers themselves. In those cases Amazon does not control the packaging, but encourage sellers to use more sustainable packaging options.

This is the latest step by Amazon to reduce single-use plastic packaging, following the move from single-use plastic delivery bags for Amazon-fulfilled deliveries to paper bags and cardboard envelopes in the UK, which was announced in March 2022.

Discover more about Amazon and it efforts with packaging here