Shareholders are pushing Amazon to reveal its plastic footprint


A group of shareholders has asked Amazon to disclose how much of its plastic packaging ends up in the environment. The retail giant’s plastic pollution could damage the company’s reputation or lead to financial penalties due to regulatory action or clean-up costs, the company said. shareholder proposal. So they would like to see a report in December showing how much plastic waste the retail giant is responsible for and what it is doing to reduce plastic packaging.

Amazon has remained quite closed on its plastic problem. It was accused of generating 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019 by the nonprofit Oceana. More than 22 million pounds of that waste ended up in freshwater and marine ecosystems, according to the Oceana report.

Amazon clapped back to say the report was an exaggeration. The company said The edge in a statement that it used only about a quarter of the plastic that Oceana said it does. If so, the company used about 116 million pounds of plastic in 2019. But Amazon did not confirm that figure with The edge or in its opposition statement against the new shareholders’ resolution. (The company did not respond to another request from The edge today.)

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Anne Schroeer, director of strategic initiatives at Oceana The edge last year. “Obviously, it would be much better if Amazon published their plastic footprint.”

If the shareholder proposal succeeds, it can finally happen. The proposal was led by shareholder activist group As You Sow. The organisation archived similar proposals with at least nine other companies this year, including Walmart, Target and McDonald’s.

Amazon reportedly uses plastic packaging more flexible than almost any other company, according to activist shareholders. While Amazon’s plastic mailers use the classic “chasing arrows” symbol associated with recycling, they cannot be recycled in most collection programs. Very few customers drop off the mailers at a place that they can actually handle, according to a survey of 600 Amazon Prime customers conducted by Oceana.

According to a large 2017 study published in the journal, only about 9 percent of plastic waste has ever been recycled Science Advances. But much of it ended up in the ocean garbage spots, in the bellies of animals, and even in our own bodies as microplastic.