AMAZON’S PLASTIC PACKAGING COULD ENCIRCLE THE WORLD 500 TIMES
Amazon, considered the world’s largest retailer, was responsible for 211,000 metric tons (465 million pounds) of plastic packaging waste last year, 10,000 tons (22 million pounds) of which ended up in the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems, Fermin Koop reported for ZME Science.
The waste includes air pillows, bubble wrap, and other plastic packaging items added to the approximately 7 billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019, said Oceana, an ocean conservation organization. The plastic packaging waste would be enough to circle the Earth more than 500 times, the authors of the report said.
Oceana also did a survey with more than 5,000 Amazon customers in the UK, the US, and Canada in 2020 and found that 86% was concerned about plastic pollution and its impact on the oceans.
At the same time, 87% said they wanted online retailers like Amazon to offer plastic-free packaging choices at checkout.
“The amount of plastic waste generated by the company is staggering and growing at a frightening rate,” Oceana’s Senior Vice President, Matt Littlejohn, said in a statement.
“The plastic packaging and waste generated by Amazon’s packages is mostly destined, not for recycling, but for the landfill, the incinerator, or the environment.”
Plastic is a massive source of pollution and is creating a big effect on the world’s oceans. Studies estimated that 90% of all seabirds and more than half of all sea turtles have ingested plastic.
The wild creatures mistake the kind of plastic used by Amazon for food, which can ultimately prove fatal. Only 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled. Worse, even the so-called biodegradable plastics now in use contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).