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Anup and Alpa Shah, Managing Director and Director Resort Rio Group of Hotels, Goa received yet another feather in their cap in Mumbai when the jury and the public voted them in the category of Indian Affairs Innovative Business Leader in Hotels 2019 at t

07th September 2019, 02:18 Hrs

TGLife


Pledging to collect plastic, equivalent to all of the plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfilment network in the country from September 2019, Amazon India has announced its commitment to eliminate single use plastic from its packaging by June 2020. A significant step towards this change is the introduction of ‘paper cushions’, which will replace plastic dunnage like air pillows and bubble wraps across its fulfilment centers in India. Paper cushions will be used to fill the void space inside packages to ensure that the product is well protected in transit. This environment friendly and fully recyclable packaging solution has already been launched in select fulfilment centers (FC) and will be extended across all FCs of Amazon in the country by the end of the year.

The Indian government, which has previously acknowledged that the nation is getting flooded with plastic waste, is widely expected to announce major steps to cut down the usage of plastic-made bags, straws and cups on October 2. The ban on the first six items of single-use plastics will clip 5% to 10% from India’s annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic. Penalties for violations of the ban will probably take effect after an initial six-month period to allow people time to adopt alternatives . India generates around 26000 tonnes of plastic waste every day and the government has been making efforts to resolve the issue as it is tide to climate-change goals.  Concerns are growing worldwide about plastic pollution, with a particular focus on the oceans, where nearly 50% of single-use plastic products end up, killing marine life and entering the human food chain. Earlier, Central environment secretary CK Mishra had commented that e-commerce companies are in many ways responsible for creating much of the plastic waste in India. Along with Amazon, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has also pledged to reduce its own carbon footprint. Flipkart has stated that it expects to collect 30% of all the packages it has shipped by the end of the year.   The government also plans tougher environmental standards for plastic products and will insist on the use of recyclable plastic only, 

It will also ask e-commerce companies to cut back on plastic packaging that makes up nearly 40% of India’s annual plastic consumption, officials say.

Cheap smartphones and a surge in the number of internet users have boosted orders for e-commerce companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart, which wrap their wares - from books and medicines to cigarettes and cosmetics - in plastic, pushing up consumption.

On its part, Amazon has ensured that its packaging material (in the form of corrugate boxes and paper cushions) contains as high as 100 per cent recycled content and is also fully recyclable. The plastic currently used in packaging mailers and bubble bags is made of 20 per cent recycled content, and is also recyclable. Amazon India is aggressively developing plastic free alternatives for packaging mailers, bubble bags, stretch wrap and tape used in the packaging which will help the company eliminate all forms of plastic used in its packaging.Amazon continues to be committed to collection and recycling of plastic packaging material.   

“Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimize the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create eco-friendly packaging. With the introduction of paper dunnage we are able to eliminate a significant use of plastic while continuing to protect customer orders,” said Akhil Saxena, vice president, Customer Fulfillment, Amazon India.   

Amazon is working on reducing single-use plastic in their supply chain and claims that less than 7 per cent of their packaging material consists of single use plastic. The company aims to educate its sellers who directly fulfil customer orders to join in this directional change in packaging. “This investment in protecting the environment ensures a triple win – it is good for our planet, good for our customers and community, and good for the business,” says Saxena.   

Amazon’s other initiatives in India, in line with its commitment to the environment include installations of large-scale solar panel systems at eight fulfillment centres and two sorting centres. This investment will help Amazon India generate close to 9 megawatts units of solar energy by the end of the year to support the annual energy needs of these buildings, reducing dependency on conventional sources of energy. These investments are part of Amazon’s long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100 per cent renewable energy.  

These initiatives are a part of Amazon’s global sustainability goal to help achieve Shipment Zero, the company’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50 per cent of all shipments net zero carbon by 2030. 

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