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Is Amazon.com an environmental disaster?

HPIM2519 I love Amazon. I buy from them every week. I admire their management, skill, technology, innovation, etc.  As an author, they are absolutely fantastic, and I thank them every day for their support.  But …

I’m increasingly shocked by the amount of wasteful packaging in an Amazon shipment.

Sometimes I’ll get a book wrapped in a small cardboard sleeve … about as little waste as you can get and still get the package delivered.

But more often than not, I get a giant empty cardboard box, 5-6 plastic air fillers, plastic wrap around the book, a cardboard insert, and 4-5 flyers.

The last book I received had 3 pounds of waste.

This doesn’t even address the issue of whether or not mail-order is inherently wasteful (especially when you add fuel, etc.)

But Amazon needs to set a clear policy on packaging: Minimal necessary shipping material, every time.

If they continue with their current ways, I expect a green boycott very soon.

They get away with it because we love them. If Walmart tried to ship like that, we’d be screaming bloody murder.

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Comments

  1. Ed Kohler December 1, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    Great point. I wish they had a way that I could opt-out of flyers. It’s just crap that’s being shipped across the country so I can throw it away.

  2. noelle bates December 3, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    I must have said the same thing to my husband the last three times I ordered something from Amazon. I feel like a schmuck having to throw it all away, and I can’t possibly understand the rationale for packaging like this.

  3. Mark Parkinson December 5, 2007 at 1:28 pm #

    Just catching up on posts – sorry for the delay. I agree with comments regarding Amazon. I am sure they will, in the near future, address the packaging issue. As you say, they will be forced to if they don’t act on their own.
    One thing… this doesn’t square very well with the post regarding trade magazines. I am guilty of the same sin, ordering obscure magazines that don’t necessarily add value to my day to day business, but in the end they are generally a perpetual or at least year long, unending exploitation of paper and delivery carbons….

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