INDIA – Amazon India, subsidiary of American online retailer and technology company has committed to eliminating single use plastic from its packaging by June 2020, as part of its long term sustainable packaging initiative.

The company is introducing environment friendly and fully recyclable packaging solutions ‘paper cushions’ to replace plastic dunnage like air pillows and bubble wraps across its fulfilment centers in India.

Amazon India has already launched the packaging in select fulfilment centers (FC) and will be extended across all FCs of Amazon in the country by the end of the year.

In addition, the plastic currently used in packaging mailers and bubble bags is made of 20% recycled content, and is also recyclable.

Amazon India is also developing plastic free alternatives for packaging mailers, bubble bags, stretch wrap and tape used in the packaging which will help the company eliminate all forms of plastic used in its packaging.

The company further reiterate its commitment in collection and recycling of plastic packaging material, pledging to collect plastic, equivalent to all of the plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfilment network in the country from September 2019.

Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfillment, Amazon India, said, Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimize the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create eco-friendly packaging.

“With the introduction of paper dunnage we are able to eliminate a significant use of plastic while continuing to protect customer orders.

“Today, less than 7% of our packaging material consists of single use plastic and we are working towards eliminating usage of them completely in our buildings in India by June 2020,” he added.

The company said it will also educate sellers who directly fulfil customer orders to curb their reliance on single-use plastic.

In line with its commitment to sustainability, Amazon India launched Packaging-Free Shipments (PFS) last year and has expanded to 13 cities in less than a year.

With packaging-free shipments, the company minimizes secondary packaging required for individual shipments by securing multiple shipments together in a reusable crate or a corrugate box.

The move follows Flipkart’s announcement that it had already cut its reliance on single-use plastic by 25% and intended to move entirely to recycled plastic consumption in its supply chain by March 2021.