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Recycling
Amazon's recyclable mailer
Amazon's recyclable mailer

Recycling

Amazon is committed to reducing our environmental footprint through recycling initiatives in our own operations and for our customers. We are developing new recycling infrastructure, inventing recyclable packaging materials, and investing in initiatives that support the recycling industry across the U.S.

Recycling Infrastructure

In addition to optimizing our recycling efforts for common materials like cardboard, we are working to address the materials that are toughest to recycle in our operations. Plastic film, for example, is a difficult material to process and recycle, and is not accepted by most curbside recycling programs. To address this gap, Amazon is launching plastic film recycling at more than 55 fulfillment centers across our network. Through this program, we expect to recycle more 7,000 tons of plastic film per year, in addition to the 1,500 tons of plastic already being recycled annually in Europe.

We are also exploring alternative solutions for less common materials that cannot be recycled. In the UK, for example, we collect the silicone backing paper from shipping labels to convert into animal bedding. We are looking across our entire operations network to incorporate more of our own recycled plastic in products, packaging, and operational processes.

In 2019, we launched a fully recyclable paper padded mailer that protects products during shipping while taking up less space in transit. This ensures customer deliveries arrive undamaged and in recyclable packaging with a lower carbon footprint. The recyclable mailer is made of four layers of paper and a water-based cushioning material using components commonly found in the glue used to make cardboard. The lightweight recyclable cushioning was specifically designed to easily separate from the paper in the same way that print inks and other paper coatings are removed during the paper recycling process.

Recycling Partnerships

At Amazon, we know our customers care about minimizing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. To improve curbside recycling in the U.S., we partnered with The Recycling Partnership, which supports communities and local governments with education, infrastructure, and measurement related to curbside recycling.

We also invested $10 million USD in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to finance recycling and circular economy infrastructure in North America. Through this investment, Amazon aims to increase product and packaging recycling, ensuring that material gets back into the manufacturing supply chain. Over the next decade, our investment in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund will improve curbside recycling for 3 million homes in communities across the U.S., diverting 1 million tons of recyclable material from landfill and eliminating the equivalent of 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

By the Numbers
Over the next decade, Amazon's investment in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund will help finance recycling and circular economy infrastructure in North America.
  • $10 Million
    Invested in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund
  • 3 Million
    Homes with Improved Curbside Recycling
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