Amazon UK no longer packs in single-use plastic bags

Here is the marketplace news that captured our attention this week.

Amazon UK no longer packs in single-use plastic bags

Image Credit: World Wildlife Fund

This week, Amazon UK announced that it no longer packs products in single-use plastic delivery bags. The company has switched to recyclable paper delivery bags and cardboard envelopes for orders shipped from its own fulfilment centres.

Popular marketplace Amazon has a large presence in the UK. In 2021, the company signed 18 renting deals for new warehouses, showing that its distribution network is still growing.

However, the company has also faced criticism over the levels of packaging waste it produces. Since 2015, the company has been making changes to reduce packaging waste. According to the company, it reduced the weight of packaging per shipment by 36 percent, which eliminated one million tonnes of packaging material.

Changes in the UK

Now, the company is making another move towards sustainability in the UK. It chose this market because recyclable paper delivery bags and envelopes are more easily recycled across the UK. The materials are made with more recycled content and reduce volume compared to other cardboard materials.

“We have made changes in our supply network that enable us to remove single-use plastic delivery bags in the UK,” said John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon. In addition to the recyclable paper delivery bags, the company will also increasingly send products in its original packaging with only an address label added.

Investments in sustainability

It has also said that it’s investing to improve the sustainability of its packaging. The company wants to develop packaging that match product size, using less material overall. It will also increase the amount of recycled content that goes into packaging materials.

Consumers in many countries find that e-commerce isn’t eco-friendly, due to the gas emissions in deliveries and returns. Amazon UK recently unveiled its first electric trucks, in an effort to lower carbon emissions. “We’re committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2040, and this is a milestone as we continue to decarbonise our transportation network so we can deliver more customer orders using zero emissions vehicles”, Boumphrey said at the time.

Tambo’s View

Amazon no longer packing single-use plastics is fantastic news and certainly very welcomed. As the largest e-commerce platform in the UK, Amazon has a duty to lead by example and make effective and meaningful change when it comes to their sustainability initiatives. Whilst they have recently made many changes and updates to their business regarding sustainability, single-use plastics is significant and was an important topic for Amazon to address. We hope to see other platforms following suit off the back of this.

Amazon Debuts 5 Electric Heavy Goods Vehicles in the UK
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Amazon has launched five electric Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in its delivery fleet for the first time in the UK.

The 37-tonne fully-electric vehicles are now operating from Amazon’s fulfilment centres in Tilbury and Milton Keynes, transporting customer packages with zero tailpipe emissions and using battery power.

The five vehicles replace diesel HGVs, resulting in up to 100,000 annual road miles fuelled with renewable electricity instead of diesel, preventing 170 tons of CO2e from being emitted.

They are the first of nine electric HGVs expected by the end of 2022, joining more than 1,000 electric delivery vans currently on the road in the UK.

Amazon’s first electric HGVs in the UK and Europe mark an important milestone towards the electrification of its fleet, forming part of Shipment Zero – Amazon’s goal to deliver 50% of shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030.

Heavy goods vehicles make up around 16 percent of the UK’s domestic transport emissions and Amazon’s commitment will help play a role in reducing the carbon footprint of the UK transportation sector.

Using the latest innovations in battery technology, the electric trucks will soon be using first-of-their-kind fast 360 kW electric charging points at Amazon’s Tilbury and Milton Keynes sites.

Eelco van Veen, DAF Trucks Director Fleet Sales added: “We are excited to bring the DAF CF Electric HGV into Amazon’s fleet and support their commitment towards The Climate Pledge. The DAF CF Electric truck represents an important step in the industry towards zero-emission middle mile distribution.”

Amazon Zero-Emission Goal

Amazon continues to focus on reducing carbon emissions in middle-mile transportation. This includes piloting a range of alternative delivery methods in collaboration with local partners to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.

In 2020, Amazon ordered battery-electric trucks from Lion Electric in the US and began testing hydrogen-powered trucks, while also expanding multi-modal transport to reduce the emissions from road travel.

The company is also evolving how it delivers packages to customers.

In 2021, Amazon delivered more than 45 million packages in the UK by more sustainable transportation methods, such as electric vans or cargo bikes. Amazon customers will see more zero-emission vehicles hitting the roads as Amazon continues to expand its fleet.

Tambo’s View:

The launch of these vehicles is another sign of Amazon's dedication to reducing its carbon emissions and its focus on becoming a sustainable business. By doing so, they will be one of the first companies in the world to put electric heavy goods trucks on the road, and will also be much likelier to hit their goal net-zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon Glow now available to wider public
Image Credit: cnet

The Amazon Glow, the video chat device with a built-in projector for games and books, is now available to the wider public in the US.

The $300 Glow, which Amazon launched in a limited early-access period in 2021, is designed for video chatting, but it also includes an ingenious downward-facing projector that allows kids to simultaneously play games and read books on a table or countertop while talking with family members or friends. It's designed for kids ages 3 to 9.

Alongside the wide release of the Glow, Amazon announced a slew of new features, including new games and books, new play modes, tunable projector brightness and expanded Glow app compatibility -- friends and family chatting with the Glow device don't need their own unit.

The Amazon Glow is available now for $300 -- or with included tangram toys for $330. (It's not currently available in the UK; $300 would convert to about £230).

Tambo's View

Blending various screens, cameras and a projector, the Amazon Glow is a great way for kids and grandparents to connect with games and books across long distances. By launching this product, Amazon has found a way to connect families like no other technology has before. As always, if there is successful uptake in the US, we expect to see the Amazon Glow appearing in the UK marketplace.