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Improving Our Packaging
Illustration of all the components that go into an Alexa device package
Illustration of all the components that go into an Alexa device package

Improving Our Packaging

Sustainable packaging is a top priority at Amazon. Our goal is to deliver products undamaged to customers while minimizing our environmental impact. To do this, we use a science-based approach that combines lab testing, machine learning, materials science, and manufacturing partnerships to scale sustainable change.
Illustration of Amazon Prime delivery vehicle in front of homes and cyclist.
Less Packaging, More Smiles
From cardboard boxes to flexible mailers, we’re rapidly working to improve the sustainability of our packaging. We’re shrinking packages to fit what customers order more often, increasing the amount of recycled content that goes into making them, and using less material overall. We’re also reinventing our packaging options and introducing new types of packaging, like the fully recyclable paper padded mailer.

When packaging weighs less and is the right size to protect customer orders, we can pack more orders into each delivery—resulting in fewer trips and less fuel burned. Learn more about how to recycle your Amazon packaging, trade in and recycle products, and find open-box and refurbished devices through Amazon Second Chance.
The recyclable paper padded mailer was created to protect 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 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. Extensive testing was done outside of Amazon before the mailer was introduced to customers to confirm that the cushioning is recyclable.
Frustration-Free Packaging
Our Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) Programs encourage vendors to package their products in easy-to-open packaging that is 100% recyclable and ready to ship to customers without additional Amazon boxes. To certify products under Amazon’s FFP Programs, we help vendors innovate and improve their packaging functionality. By testing products in a dedicated, state-of-the-art lab in Seattle and in our fulfillment centers across the globe, we identify specific steps that vendors can take to improve their packaging and ensure products are protected all the way to the customer’s doorstep.

Since 2015, we have reduced the weight of outbound packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 1 million tons of packaging material, the equivalent of 2 billion shipping boxes.
  • 33%
    Reduction
    Outbound packaging by weight
  • 1 Million
    Tons
    Packaging material eliminated
  • 2 Million
    Products
    Qualify under our FFP Programs
Better packaging is better for the environment
Learn more about how Amazon and Hasbro came together to invent better packaging for a popular toy. By switching to Frustration-Free Packaging, Hasbro reduced the amount of material used by over 50% and reduced the overall size of the package by more than half.
“Amazon is great from a collaboration perspective because they help us understand that the shopping journey is changing. We’re thinking differently about how we're actually packaging products.”
Jeff Jackson
SVP Global eCommerce and Key Accounts at Hasbro
Boxes versus Mailers - a side-by-side comparison
Boxes versus Mailers - a side-by-side comparison
Machine Learning
When a customer places an order, machine learning is used to optimize packaging selection and choose the least wasteful packaging type. This allows Amazon to deliver orders in packaging that delights customers, arrives undamaged, and helps reduce our carbon footprint. For example, machine learning identifies items that can be packed in a flexible mailer, which is 75% lighter than a similar-sized box. Mailers also conform around products, taking up 40% less space than a box during shipping.
We are working across the packaging industry, using new analytics and test methods, new materials, and new ways to build enclosures that protect customer products. With packaging suppliers, for example, we have developed solutions for liquid dispensing systems on hard-to-ship items, such as household cleaners and personal care products, preventing spills and the need for extra packaging to contain spills if they happen.
  • Logo of ista, an Amazon Sustainability partner
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    International Safe Transit Association


    Amazon joined the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), an organization focused on the specific concerns of transport packaging. ISTA is a nonprofit, member-driven association that sets the standards for optimizing the resources in packages that are designed to be survivable, sustainable, and successful.
  • Logo of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an Amazon Sustainability partner
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    Sustainable Packaging Coalition


    Amazon joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), an industry working group dedicated to a more robust environmental vision for packaging. SPC uses strong member support, an informed and science-based approach, supply chain collaborations, and continuous outreach to build packaging systems that encourage economic prosperity and a sustainable flow of materials.
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See how we put our scale and inventive culture to work on building a sustainable future.