Amazon Increased US Plastic Packaging Despite Global Phase-Out

The amount of plastic packaging waste created by Amazon has increased in the US even as the online retail giant sought to phase out plastics elsewhere in the world, a report claims, amid growing pressure for a global treaty to end plastic pollution.

Amazon created 208m pounds (94m kg) of plastic packaging in the US in 2022, equal to the weight of nearly 14,000 large African elephants, which is a 9.8% increase on the amount of packaging it produced in 2021, according to Oceana, an American marine conservation group that used industry data and Amazon’s market announcements to form its analysis.

The increase in 2022 occurred even as Amazon made headway in reducing its plastic use elsewhere in the world, cutting its plastic packaging globally by 11.6% compared to a year previously.

In Europe, the company has replaced its plastic delivery sleeves with paper and cardboard, amid new rules from the European Union aimed at stamping out single-use plastics.

Oceana said that the persistent reliance on plastics in the US is “troubling”, pointing to evidence that much of this waste will end up ingested by marine animals or strewn along coastal areas.

According to the group, up to 22m pounds (9.9m kg) of Amazon’s global plastic packaging from 2022 will have ended up in the world’s waterways and seas. Oceana’s analysis cites a 2020 scientific study published in Science that found 11% of plastic waste globally ended up in aquatic ecosystems in 2016.

Read more here from The Guardian.