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Amazon Saying So Long to Plastic Fillers in Shipping Cartons



Paper Filler Performs Better, Amazon Finds

June 25, 2024
SCDigest Editorial Staff

In a company blog post late last week, Amazon said it has removed 95% of the plastic air pillows it uses to cushion goods inside its shipping cartons in North America and is replacing them with paper fillers made from 100% recycled content.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Amazon says that testing of paper filler showed that it offers the same if not better protection to products than plastic air pillows.

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Amazon says it is its the largest plastic-packaging reduction effort and will help it remove nearly 15 billion plastic pillows annually.

“We are working towards full removal in North America by end of year and will continue to innovate, test, and scale in order to prioritize curbside recyclable materials,” VP of Mechatronics and Sustainable Packaging Pat Lindner said in the post.

“We’re constantly inventing and thinking big to make our packaging small. We want to ensure that customers receive their items undamaged, while using as little packaging as possible to avoid waste, and prioritizing recyclable materials,” Amazon added.

The company noted that for its upcoming special Prime sales day, nearly all of its customer deliveries will not contain plastic air pillows.

Last October, Amazon announced its first US automated fulfillment center in Ohio to eliminate plastic delivery packaging, including the transition from plastic air pillows to paper filler.

Amazon says the work in Ohio allowed it to test and learn and then move quickly on transitioning to paper filler for 95% of its shipments in less than a year. It collaborated with suppliers to source paper filler made from 100% recycled content, while also coordinating the transition across hundreds of its fulfillment centers.

Amazon says that testing of paper filler showed that it offers the same if not better protection to products than plastic air pillows. The paper filler is also curbside recyclable, making it easier for customers to recycle at home, and the material is made from 100% percent recycled content.

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Amazon has other initiatives for reducing its packaging footprint, such as its “Ships in Product Packaging” program, where it tests and certifies products that can safely ship in their own packaging.


Amazon says the paper filler is preferred by fulfillment center associates.

“I’m so excited we’re changing over to paper. It’s not only easier to work with, but the machinery gives us more space so it’s easier to pack orders. And I’m proud to be a part of a change that allows customers to recycle at home,” said Christian Garcia, fulfillment Associate at Amazon’s BFL1 fulfillment center in Bakersfield, California.

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