At a time when everyone and their neighbor are trying their hardest to reduce their use of plastic to save the planet and its inhabitants from smothering in bubble wrap and plastic bags, Amazon has ditched some of its cardboard packages and replaced them with non-recyclable plastic envelopes. The company’s move seems to be an attempt to fit more items on delivery vehicles.
According to The Guardian, the world’s biggest online retailer is thought to send between four and five billion packages a year worldwide — that’s quite a bit of plastic going into landfills, oceans, forests, etc.
The new packaging is also creating serious mayhem in the US, where the envelopes are jamming up recycling centers as consumers are mistakenly placing them in recycling bins, The Washington Post explained.
Although cardboard boxes, which are paper products, are more recyclable, it is important to note that they are also single-use items with serious environmental impact, such as a high carbon footprint, as highlighted by Wired in 2006.
Experts suggest that Amazon takes back the used packaging and reuses it to reduce the environmental impact. Another solution is to follow in Ikea’s suit, the worldwide Swedish furniture giant, which is planning to use biodegradable packaging made from mushrooms to replace polystyrene and can decompose in a garden within a few weeks.