What does Amazon do with what it doesn’t sell? He donates only a fraction, destroys most

Some products are recycled, but a large number of new usable pieces end up in landfills.

Amazon’s largest online store chain is in big trouble. Current report of the British television ITV News revealedthat an American company, which operates 24 large warehouses in the United Kingdom alone, will destroy or throw away a huge amount of unsold products. In many cases, these are also completely new books or unpacked devices, including smart TVs, laptops, headphones or drones.

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The reason why Amazon discards these products is its business model, and it must be said that it is economically successful. Retailers store their products in its large warehouses, with companies paying “rent” for the service. However, when the product cannot be sold in the long run, Amazon asks for a higher amount for storage. Ultimately, it is cheaper to dispose of these products in some way than to store them longer. And this is especially true for products that come from overseas.

He claimed something else

Even before the report was published, the head of the British branch of the Amazon, John Boumphrey, told the same television that the amount of destroyed goods is extremely low.

Later, the company adjusted the rhetoric: “We are working to achieve the goal of zero disposal of the product and our priority is to resell, donate to charities or recycle any unsold products. No items are sent to a landfill in the UK. As a last resort, we will send them for energy recovery, but we are working hard to reduce the number of cases when this happens to zero. ”


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Disposal products worth thousands of euros.

Source: itv.com

However, even this statement does not completely correspond to reality. The report contains authentic shots directly from the warehouse, where unsold products are disposed of in large containers. All of them are united by one word: “destroy”. Investigative reporters then pursued the goal of large trucks carrying these “unwanted” products. At the same time, some did go for recycling, but a large number of fully functional products also ended up in landfills.

It should be noted, however, that the mere recycling of new, or only returned, but fully functional products or books represents an unnecessary environmental burden than the practical use of the products for the purpose for which they were originally intended. During their production, a considerable part of material resources was consumed, which means a considerable carbon footprint. This will ultimately only increase when recycled without prior real use of the products.

Better to destroy than to donate?

Therefore, many shake their heads and ask why Amazon at least prefers not to donate or sell all products for a fraction of the price. Even a leaked document from one of the warehouses near the Scottish town of Dunfermline revealed that in just one week in April, 124,000 items were marked destroyed, in contrast to 28,000 marked “donate”.


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The number of items to be discarded exceeds one hundred thousand per week.

Source: itv.com

The authenticity of the document is confirmed by one of the former employees, who anonymously stated for television that they usually destroyed 130,000, or even up to 200,000, items a week in this way. “A total of 50 percent of all are unopened and still in the package. The other half consists of returned products, which are in good condition, “he added. At the same time, employees allegedly only comply with regulations, they do not ask.

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Thus, the statistics show a large disparity in the numbers between discarded and donated products. Whether destroying the products is ultimately more cost-effective for Amazon than shifting them to the socially disadvantaged, we can only guess so far.

He says he wants to be green

At the same time, Amazon has long communicated with the public its great efforts to reduce the impact of its business on the environment. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng have therefore expressed great concern about the television’s findings and have promised to pay close attention to the issue.


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Unloading of containers with discarded products for recycling.

Source: itv.com

The new Amazon affair resonates all the more because it comes at a time when the whole world is struggling with nedostatkom polovodičov and the production lines of many factories are repeatedly shut down due to delayed deliveries of new chips. Let’s add that Amazon is with almost 600 billion euros the most valuable company today.


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