Amazon's Plastic Waste Soared in 2021, Report Finds
Friday December 16, 2022. 09:01 PM , from Slashdot
Plastic packaging waste from the online retail giant Amazon ballooned to 709 million pounds globally in 2021 -- equivalent to the weight of some 70,000 killer whales -- according to a new report published Thursday by the nonprofit Oceana. From a report: That's an 18 percent increase over Oceana's estimate of Amazon's plastic packaging for 2020, indicating a growing problem that environmental advocates -- and even Amazon's own shareholders -- say the company is doing too little to address. Amazon's plastic packaging 'is a problem for the world's waterways and oceans, and it's an issue they need to be prioritizing,' said Dana Miller, Oceana's director of strategic initiatives and an author of the report.
If all the company's plastic from 2021 were converted into plastic air pillows -- the inflated pouches inserted in some Amazon packages to reduce shifting during transit -- and laid side by side, Miller said it would circle the globe more than 800 times. As the largest retailer on the planet, Amazon goes through a lot of plastic. It ships 7.7 billion packages around the world each year, often using plastic air pillows, bags, and protective sleeves to cushion products during transit. Environmental advocates say these are some of the worst kinds of plastics: They can't be recycled, and their light weight makes them prone to drifting into the oceans, where they kill more large marine mammals than any other kind of ocean debris. As the plastics break down, they not only leach harmful chemicals but can also bind with new ones in the environment, posing toxicity risks to the mussels, oysters, whales, and other animals that unintentionally ingest them.
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