Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Amazon Takes On Part One of the Three R Mantra

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We have all heard it over and over throughout our lives, the mantra for the Greenie in all of us. We all attempt it in our daily lives and as individuals we can make a great difference. But what about companies? Are larger corporations able to grab onto reduce, reuse, recycle and put it into practice? Well Amazon.com is proving that they are ready, willing and able to jump on the green band wagon by starting with the first r -- reduce.

My brother in law pointed me in the direction of a link on the Amazon homepage titled Avoid Wrap Rage. Their little blurb associated says “Get Amazon Frustration-Free™ Packaging”. Well that sounds fantastic to me, especially with the holidays and excessive shipping needs upcoming so I tore right into the link and began reading. What I discovered through my research is that Amazon is the Wizard that needs to come out from behind the curtain because they are not just green but turning into the Emerald City!

So what exactly is wrap rage? Well according to Amazon it is the flare of emotions we all get when attempting to open packages these days. For example, we go into a local electronics store to purchase a small technology item only to discover it is molded into an almost impenetrable plastic package. Ever tried to shuck a clam? Exactly. They do not call this packaging clamshell for nothing. And it does not stop there -- extra twist ties, security stickers, cardboard, plastic…the list of superfluous material on our packages goes on and on. Retail shops use this for anti-theft and it does help keep shrink low but what about in locations where there are no browsing shoppers who can touch the merchandise?

Back on November 3 Amazon decided that shoplifting in the online world was not really an issue but that over use of material was so they launched the Frustration Free™ Packaging effort with top manufacturers such as Fisher Price, Mattel, Microsoft and Transcend. Their initiatives include: easy to open and recyclable cardboard boxes, reduction of: cardboard inserts, PVC, plastic coated steel wire twist ties, plastic fasteners and ABS molded styrene. So far there are nineteen products taking advantage of this initiative and they are gearing up to provide every product they stock in this manner. A bold plan to be sure but one that will lead the charge as other large companies follow suit.

To read the letter sent to consumers by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos describing the early effort please visit this link.

Digging even more deeply into the Greenness of Amazon it pleased me to discover they are contributing to environmental efforts worldwide. As a consumer, and one who shops on Amazon from time to time, it is encouraging to read that they:

☼ Reduce packaging waste by choosing the correct size box for each shipped item.
☼ Decrease transportation as more will then fit on less trucks.
☼ Use corrugated cardboard for shipping which contains 43-50% recycled material.
☼ Developed a program called Earth Kaizens to reduce energy in their facilities globally.
☼ Constructed their new Seattle Corporate HQ to meet LEED Certifications.
☼ Launched AmazonGreen providing Earth friendly alternatives for many products.

With such solid efforts toward a more eco-friendly existence I must bestow Amazon with a Four Green Leaf Rating! As a large corporation they are a solid model to follow as they lead the charge for all companies to adopt the Three R mantra and beyond. Hooray!


MichellesCharmWorld said...

WOWOWOW!! thanks for this info! Looks like I know where i'm headed for the holidays! Love seeing Fisher Price on there! It's the worst part of Chrsitmas Morning for the little ones!!

kim* said...

i am always trying to figure out how to recycle while packaging...i havent met that answer yet.

High Desert Diva said...


I agree with the wrap rage...those molded plastic packages suck. I sliced my hand on the plastic trying to open my printer toner the other day.

demandablog said...

Wow, that's awesome! I HATE throwing away all the useless extra packaging at xmas time! Ugh. Go Amazon! :D

tanyBUG said...

I had no idea amazon was doing this, its very interesting! thanks for the info!
and wrap rage... what a great term for it! I have a feeling I'm going to be using that term a lot over the next couple of months :s

Jenn said...

In doing this research I read on some article (wish I could remember where, will try to find the link again) that over 6,000 people end up in the emergency room every year from injuries sustained while opening packages like this. That is NUTS! Go Amazon for finally figuring it out!

If I'm not shopping handmade on Etsy this season then I know just where I am shopping!

blackfeatherfarm said...

Another great post !! Glad to see how smart Amazon is !

Rosebud Collection said...

This is very interesting..Good for Amazon..I have to tell you..sometimes I am good, but sometimes I am bad..

Hyla Waldron said...

Amazing! I LOVE shopping on Amazon.com!


artjewl said...

That's pretty friggin cool. :) Thanks for sharing, Jenn!

Bridgete said...

I always loved Amazon, now I love them even more!