Recycling in Our Operations
Amazon is reducing the operational waste associated with customer fulfilment in facilities across the globe. Corrugated board is the most common material that flows through our operations, and we work with third-party recycling haulers to remove corrugated board from our facilities for off-site recycling. Many of these recycling haulers also supply Amazon with the packaging materials that we use for customer deliveries, converting waste material recovered from Amazon operations into new, recycled packaging.
Not all of the materials we use can be easily recycled using current available systems. Plastic film, for example, is a difficult material to process, and most municipal recycling programmes do not accept it. In order to innovate and solve for this gap, Amazon has developed a process for on-site plastic film recycling for our operations. In 2020, we began converting plastic film into poly bags made of 100 % recycled material, which are used for package-free returns at Amazon drop-off locations in the US After use, the bags are collected and returned to Amazon facilities where we again convert them into new poly bags, repeating the recycling process. As of June 2021, on-site plastic film recycling is available at more than 168 Amazon sites across North America and Europe.
We are also exploring alternative solutions for less common materials that cannot be recycled. In several European locations, we work with our delivery label suppliers to recycle the silicone backing paper from used shipping labels in order to make new label components. In the UK, we partner with a local manufacturer to collect hundreds of rolls of label backing paper each year, converting the material into filling for animal bedding products. We are looking across our entire operations network to create new uses for waste materials in products, packaging and operational processes.
3 millionHomes with improved curbside recycling
1 millionTons of recyclable material diverted from landfills
2 millionMetric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent eliminated