Amazon Replaces Plastic Packaging With Paper In North America

Amazon Replaces Plastic Packaging With Paper In North America

Reading time: 15 min

  • Andrea Miliani

    Written by: Andrea Miliani Tech Writer

  • Kate Richards

    Fact-Checked by Kate Richards Content Manager

Amazon announced last week that it has replaced almost all of its plastic air pillows for packaging with paper filler—made 100% of recycled content—in North America. This represents the company’s largest plastic reduction and will eliminate the 15 billion plastic air pillows used every year.

“The removal of 95% of our plastic air pillows is another step in our path to avoid and reduce packaging—and part of our multi-year effort to remove plastic delivery packaging from North America fulfillment centers,” states the public statement released on its website.

Amazon has highlighted that for the upcoming 10th annual Prime Day on July 16th and 17th, almost none of the deliveries will contain plastic bags, and they expect to eradicate plastic packaging by the end of the year.

This initiative started in October last year at the company’s center in Ohio in collaboration with third parties to test and train employees on the new packaging system. “We discovered that it offers the same, if not better, protection to products than plastic air pillows,” states the document.

The transition represents one of the company’s recent efforts to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Amazon has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to create new materials and recycling solutions and with the AI and robotics company Glacier to optimize recycling processes.

Although this time Amazon expects its customers to play a role too. “I’m so excited we’re changing over to paper. It’s not only easier to work with, but the machinery gives us more space, so it’s easier to pack orders,” said Christian Garcia, fulfillment Associate at the BFL1 fulfillment center in California, “And I’m proud to be a part of a change that allows customers to recycle at home.”

Besides the packaging, Amazon has been working on other improvements and testing new strategies for its deliveries. A few days ago, the company announced the approval and expansion of its Prime Air service using commercial drones in Texas.

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