[The Verge] Amazon eliminated plastic packaging at one of its warehouses

I get a mix of plastic and the paper, and I love the plastic ones that say “Recyclable” until you read the instructions.

“Remove the shipping label.” OK stop. THEY AREN’T REMOVABLE. So thus the package is not recyclable. DONE!

Also, ONE warehouse Amazon. You have a LONG way to go!


SIOC (‘Amazonese’ for “Ships In Own Container”) settings being inexplicably overwritten by Amazon, and/or its Amabots, has been a trending topic of discussion for several months past over in the NSFE.

Mayhaps, The Verge’s concluding sentence offers some insight as to why that phenomenon might be occurring (emphasis mine):

Recyclable is a misleading term.

Anything is recyclable, literally anything, the question is whether those materials are actually collected and brought to a processing center.

There’s many items marked recyclable that aren’t recycled in practice because the facilities to process them don’t exist.

Plastic bags and packaging are recyclable, but it’s cost prohibitive to do it, so most of it ends up in a landfill.

Or in one of the gyres, or otherwise in the oceanic food chains.

I am sure many of you live in a town or city which collects your recyclables separately from other trash.

Those recyclables may not be being recycled.

Most of those recyclables were intended to be sold to recyclers. Unfortunately, the greatest buyers for those recyclables were in China. Shipping from the US to China had been at extremely inexpensive levels because empty container ships were more expensive to run than ships with some cargo.

The Chinese reduced their purchases of our trash and the boost municipal coffers received from selling recyclables disappeared, and there are not enough other buyers. Many of the recyclables of all types are going into landfills, and cost the same for disposal as other trash.

They may actually use more energy than other trash as well, because you are supposed to wash cans, bottles and glass, which uses hot water which requires energy.

There are materials which recycling continues to be a winning situation - like aluminum cans, but those of us who drink carbonated beverage see the effects on the cost of electricity on its use for packaging. Aluminum production is highly dependent on electricity.

It would be a wonderful thing if we could reach an equilibrium on use and recycling, but that appears to be too complex for the market.

Amazon’s decision to use less is probably doing more good than recycling.


Guess that is the reason why yesterday I got a 10" x 8" x 8" box for one item that fills a flat letter sized envelope.

To make matters worse. The was a “Damage” return to FBA stock.

The product came back in perfect condition.

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Non-padded paper mailers are largely not as durable as plastic ones, but Amazon says it developed paper rolls that can stretch, seal with heat, have some weather resistance, and are curbside recyclable.

As a Buyer, I like Amazon’s paper envelopes. I reuse these in several ways and then simply add to my curbside recycling pick up when no longer needed. Whatever happens after they leave me–whether recycled, sold for recycling, sitting in a landfill waiting to be recycled–they are 96% repulpable and also fully compostable.

The company also avoided packing 11 percent of shipped products altogether in 2022, opting to slap a label directly on manufacturer boxes if they’re deemed sturdy enough.

Not as happy about this. “Deemed sturdy enough” is definitely in the eye of Billy the Beholder and not borne out by actual shipping. I now always opt out of “ship in manufacturer’s packaging.”

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“Reduce” is leaps and bounds better than “recycle.”

Recycling does indeed cost a ton of energy to haul, sort, and reprocess the material. The bottom line is any kind of consumption generates a bunch of waste.



Don’t get me wrong, I’ll reuse the plastic amazon bubble bags as packing material for my personal ebay sales (used stuff)

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The problem is plastic is just too good.

It’s strong, waterproof, flexible, lightweight, cheap, and can be transparent. For packaging, or for carrying groceries home (ever carry paper bags in the rain?), it’s basically unbeatable.

Like, I use ziploc bags for everything. There’s nothing that even comes close to being as convenient.

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I now use reusable silicone and mesh bags (that I purchase) when I can, but I also reuse the manufacturer-packed plastic zip bags that some online orders have–some are really nice quality! I use them to file documents, pack clothing, organize projects, etc.

Some used plastics can be repurposed into filament for 3D printing and “textiles”.

ETA: My grandparents never forgot the lessons of the Great Depression: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Reuse/repurposing/upcycling is in my DNA :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: and pre-dates “eco-friendly” and “sustainable”.

I assume this is as a buyer, or did I miss an option to opt out my FBA inventory?

Yes @primetime as a Buyer :grin:


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