Amazon pushes reduction of packaging materials

From 1 October 2019 onwards, all items sold on Amazon that do not exceed a defined size or weight must be certified as having „frustration-free packaging“.

For a long time, Amazon was criticized for sending products to its customers in transport packaging that was sometimes far too large. In response, the company launched its „frustration-free packaging“ program already ten years ago. The aim was to reduce waste, save costs and offer customers packaging that was easy to open and 100 percent recyclable. The program includes various sustainable packaging variations, such as shipping small items in pouches instead of cartons, optimizing available carton sizes, and introducing recyclable pouches. The company reports that it has also worked with its global sales partners to develop ready-to-ship product packaging.

„Amazon is committed to minimizing packaging and eliminating packaging waste throughout the supply chain. Our packaging innovations to date have avoided over 500 million cartons and more than 244,000 tonnes of packaging material,“ said a company spokesperson in response to questioning, adding that in 2017 alone, it had been possible to reduce packaging waste by around 16 percent.


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Amazon reports that „these results encourage us to now ask all suppliers selling larger items to optimize and certify their packaging so that items can be shipped in their original packaging without the need for Amazon overpack“. In addition, the original packaging should be easy to open and recyclable.

In concrete terms, this means that from 1 October 2019 in Europe (in the USA already since 1 August 2019) all articles that are larger than 45.5 x 34.0 x 26.5 centimeters or weigh more than 12.3 kilograms and are sold at Amazon must be designed and certified as ready for shipping at Amazon. Amazon will charge suppliers and sales partners who do not meet this standard from the specified date EUR 1.70 per shipping unit.