Charity calls on Amazon to use less plastic packaging

US Amazon customers may be buying more goods online due to the pandemic but they are very concerned about the effects of plastic pollution on the world’s oceans, according to ocean conservation organisation Oceana.

Oceana commissioned YouGov to poll 1,286 people in the USA. 78% reported shopping with Amazon, 85% of which were concerned about plastic pollution. Of the Amazon customers, 71% would use a plastic free alternative if offered.

Support for packaging changes was highest among Amazon Prime customers and those who shop most often online. The NGO has said it is now launching a campaign to call on Amazon to use less plastic packaging.

“Jeff Bezos and Amazon say they are obsessed with meeting the needs of their customers. It’s clear from the results of our survey that what Amazon customers want is for the company to do the right thing and offer plastic-free options at checkout,” said Matt Littlejohn, senior vice president of Oceana. “Amazon can make a difference for its customers and the oceans by doing this: this is a company that, according to recent news reports, shipped several billion packages in 2019, many packed with plastic.”

Amazon’s packaging and materials lab have created lightweight plastic-free packaging, including a new mailer, that the company reports has been used 100 million times. “Amazon has the technical ability, with its fulfilment centres, to offer plastic-free alternatives to its customers, reduce plastic and help protect the oceans and environment,” said former Amazon executive and consultant Rachel Johnson Greer. “It is really a question of will.”