In advance of Amazon’s (AMZN) quarterly earnings report tomorrow, which analysts predict will show a continued increase in sales – and a rapid growth in Prime membership – during the COVID-19 pandemic, Matthew Littlejohn, Senior Vice President of Oceana, issued the following statement calling on the major online retailer to give its customers a plastic-free packaging choice.[i]
“Amazon has a plastics problem – it is time for the company to address it and take steps needed to reduce its plastic footprint. This is a company that, according to recent news reports, shipped 7 billion packages in 2019, many of them packed in plastic.[ii] 91% of all plastic produced to date has been landfilled, burned, or ended up on the sea.[iii] We know, from recent research, that Amazon’s customers – especially Prime customers, are increasingly concerned about the impact of plastic pollution on the seas.”
“Oceana commissioned surveys of Amazon customers by YouGov in the United States and United Kingdom and by Abacus Data in Canada and found that 85% of customers in the U.S. are concerned about plastic pollution, 34% are willing to switch to other retailers that offer plastic-free packaging, and 35% of Amazon Prime customers said that they would shop at online retailers that offer plastic-free shipping. For a company that lists “customer obsession” as its first leadership principle, Amazon needs to listen to them and provide a plastic-free choice. It’s the right thing to do, and it is just good business.”
[i] “Here’s What to Look for When Amazon Reports Earnings Thursday.” The Motley Fool. Published July 20, 2020 at https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/07/20/heres-what-to-look-for-when-amazon-reports-earning.aspx
[ii] Amazon announced that it delivered 3.5 billion packages through its own delivery systems in 2019. Amazon spokespeople were quoted– in subsequent stories in Vox, US News and other outlets – that this represented “approximately half” of the company’s global shipping volume (and the rest was shipped through other carriers, like UPS).
[iii] Geyer R, Jambeck JR and Law KL (2017) Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances 19 Jul 2017:Vol. 3, no. 7, e1700782 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700782. Available at: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782