Amazon India eliminates usage of single-use plastic packaging

Building sustainable supply chain

81
Amazon India
Amazon is minimizing environmental impact Image: Flikr

Amazon India has eliminated all single-use plastic in packaging originating from its more than 50 fulfilment centers in India. In September 2019 the company had pledged to meet this goal in an accelerated timeframe by June 2020, in an effort to build an environmentally sustainable supply chain.

Amazon India said it has taken several steps to achieve complete elimination of single-use plastic in its own fulfilment network. The first milestone towards this goal was achieved in December 2019 when the company replaced plastic packaging material, such as bubble wraps and air pillows, with paper cushion in its packaging.

The company then introduced 100% plastic-free and biodegradable paper tape earlier this year, which is used to seal and secure customer shipments. Additionally, the company has replaced thin cling films for customer deliveries among other material with packaging options that are not single-use plastic in nature. All other plastic packaging material originating from the Amazon fulfilment centers is 100% recyclable through available collection, segregation and recycling channels. Amazon India said it continues to educate sellers, who directly fulfil customer orders, to join in this directional change in packaging.

Amazon India has carried out several pilots while developing single-use plastic-free solutions, to gauge the in-transit strength of its packaging. The company has also collaborated with manufacturers to design sustainable packaging innovations to minimize waste in packaging. The pilots have enabled the company to make significant steps towards its sustainability goals without impacting the customer experience or product safety.

Prakash Kumar Dutta, director, customer fulfilment & supply chain, Amazon India said, “The elimination of single use plastic in our packaging across our fulfilment centers marks an important milestone in our relentless journey towards building a sustainable supply chain. Our aim is to minimize environmental impact while elevating customer experience. While navigating through unprecedented challenges with the lockdown and pandemic in the last few months, we have continued to take progressive steps towards ensuring that we meet our commitment. We strongly believe that moving towards sustainable practices is good for the planet, the customers and the business, and we will continue to invest and innovate on this front.”

Earlier this month, the company announced that it has expanded its India-first initiative, Packaging-Free Shipping (PFS) to over 100 cities, and now more than 40% of Amazon customer orders shipped from Amazon India’s Fulfilment centers are now either packaging-free or have significantly reduced packaging. The company has also been collecting and recycling plastic waste equivalent to its usage at a national level from September 2019, and has identified collection agencies to help collect equivalent 100% plastic waste generated from usage across Amazon fulfilment network.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here