Here’s how to properly recycle packages this holiday season

WWith all the online shopping you’ve done this season, it’s weird Not to see a package or two on your porch all the time, and you’re practically calling your mail couriers. But now that the contents of the aforementioned packages have all been given away, what do you do with the empty shipping boxes and packaging?

You can throw away that packaging and be conscious of the planet while you’re there by following a few guidelines (starting with please don’t throw it in the trash). And if some of the packaging is from Amazon (because let’s be honest, the two-day shipping saved you time scrambling for last-minute gifts), those instructions are simple and easy to follow. close. To learn about that process and Amazon’s sustainability efforts, we connected with Pat Lindner, Amazon’s vice president of packaging and innovation.

“[Amazon is] is committed to delivering products safely and sustainably,” says Lindner. “We know our size and scale can make a difference, and we have a responsibility to do good for our planet. us and for our customers. It’s also why we co-founded and became the first signatory of the Climate Pledge, which committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040—10 years before the Paris Agreement.”

From the right sized envelopes to the recyclable curbside boxes, Amazon is always looking for innovative ways to reduce packaging and increase recycling.

Keep reading to learn more about Amazon’s sustainability efforts and how to recycle packages this season.

How Amazon is committed to more sustainable packaging

Amazon’s commitment to more sustainable packaging begins with reduction. Amazon’s goal is to use “the minimum amount of packaging needed to ensure the product arrives safely,” says Lindner. “We even have a program for products that can be shipped without any additional Amazon packaging.” (Just be aware of potential spoilers if you’re sending a gift straight to the recipient!)

To accomplish this task, Amazon uses machine learning algorithms to determine which products do not need additional boxing and which smaller items are suitable for flexible packaging. The result of this effort? “Since 2015, our investments in processes, materials and technology have allowed us to reduce packaging weight by more than 38% per shipment and eliminate more than 1.5 million tons of packaging. ,” said Lindner. Talk about reducing your impact.

How to properly recycle packages

When it’s not possible to completely eliminate materials, Amazon focuses on replacing more difficult-to-recycle materials with alternatives that use fewer materials and incorporate more recycled content. That’s where the stacked box and packaging tower in a corner of your home comes into play: The Amazon Second Chance site is the resource that shows you exactly how to properly recycle packages (because sometimes all different recycling rules can be confusing).

Additionally, Amazon includes a “How2Recycle” label on all shipments and partners with organizations like the Closed Loop Foundation and the Recycling Partnership on education and infrastructure. “Next time you receive an Amazon package, check to see if the package has a QR code, which will help you learn more,” says Lindner.

In a nutshell, here are the main things Lindner recommends keeping in mind: Discard padded boxes and mailers when recycling at the curb—just try to flatten them out before you do, he says. If there’s no possibility of curbside plastic recycling, you’ll need to take your blue-and-white envelope and air pillow to a nearby garbage collection point. Dispose of your packages (read: tidy up your living room) consciously? The current It’s a a holiday gift.

How to shop sustainably on Amazon

Do you also want to keep sustainability in mind in other ways? Lindner has some pro tips: “Select Amazon Date as your shipping option if the product qualifies. This allows [you] choose a date for all [your] products will be delivered,” said Lindner. “Wearing” [your] products may not always be put together in a box, on average, Amazon uses 30 percent less boxes per day.”

You can also buy products marked with a Climate Friendly label, which means they have at least one sustainability certification. On Lindner’s list? “Personally, I like the new Echo dot,” he said. It’s part of our Climate Friendly Pledge as it has the ‘CO2 Reduction’ label, which denotes a product that is reducing its carbon footprint every year.”

Whatever comes to your doorstep this season—for yourself or for that special someone in your life—may your heart, home, and recycling bin fill up.


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