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Amazon’s Sustainable Packaging Initiative

Among the many things that Amazon’s customers want is packaging that’s the right size and packaging that’s recyclable. Customers want packaging that minimizes the amount of waste while also ensuring that delivery is a damage-free experience.

Amazon achieves this not through guesswork. Rather, they utilize a science-based approach – an approach that is inclusive of testing in labs, machine learning, studying the science behind materials, and establishing manufacturing partnerships so that it’s possible to scale changes that are sustainable right across the entire breadth of the packaging supply chain.

Amazon Invent and Test New Packaging to Eliminate Waste, Ensure Products Arrive Safely, and End “Wrap Rage”

It was as long ago as 2008 that Amazon introduced its cutting-edge and innovative processes which are referred to as ‘Frustration-Free Packaging.’ The fundamentals behind Frustration-Free Packaging were and still are in place to provide customers with packaging that is 100% recyclable (through a strong desire to reduce waste), and easy to open.

The concept of Frustration-Free Packaging is to remove all wire ties from packaging, to remove any plastic bindings, and to do away with clamshell-type casings. This all to end what was termed as ‘wrap rage’ with one simple objective – to make boxes (and packaging in general) much more simplistic to open.

A further advantage of Frustration-Free Packaging is that it benefits the environment since products are now shipped in original packaging. There is no longer any need for any additional shipping boxes to ensure safe delivery.

Frustration-Free Packaging Program

Amazon launched its Frustration-Free Pagacking Program in November of 2008. They started out by testing only 19 items.

These days, the Program has developed to focus on three different certification tiers together with an array of other initiatives all focused on the reduction of packaging waste.

The Program is good for the environment, good for the customer, and good for business overall.

As alluded to, the concept is designed to avoid the use of wire ties, plastic clamshell-type packaging, and other packing features that are nothing more than wasteful and are thus not required.

All products that are certified under the umbrella term of Frustration-Free Packaging Program are dispatched entirely devoid of any form of additional packaging. Nevertheless, they must arrive with the customer damage-free.

Over the prior 10-plus years since the Frustration-Free Packaging Program was introduced, Amazon has eliminated hundreds of thousands of tons of needless packaging materials. In 2017 alone the Program was responsible for a reduction of 305 million shipping boxes in comparison to previous need.

When shopping on Amazon customers are at liberty to search for Frustration-Free-Packaging available products prior to adding to cart. The choice is then listed on the product detail page, along with choices for other things such as size and color.

Packaging Stress Testing

Amazon makes every effort to protect the product from the time of purchase right through until the customer receives it. They do this because damaged items are a frustration to customers, they create more waste, and they quickly add to overall cost.

Amazon tests products in its Seattle-based Amazon packaging lab and in Amazon fulfillment centers worldwide. This way they have been able to identify various steps for manufacturers to take as a way of improving packaging.

At the Seattle lab, it’s up to the Amazon packaging engineering team to squeeze, vibrate, and drop countless packages each year. With the help of specialist machinery, this practice simulates in a precise manner what a typical package journey will be.

The products that pass these rigorous tests are then certified to be fit for Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Program.

Collaboration With Manufacturers on New Packaging Inventions

Amazon collaborates with manufacturers on a global scale and helps them in making innovations and improvements to packaging thereby cutting down on waste as well as costs that are typically incurred throughout the entirety of the supply chain.

Beginning with specified metrics and performance data on each product that manufacturers market on Amazon, business owners are invited to work together with Amazon’s packaging team to come up with fresh packaging for individual products – packaging that is then rigorously tested.

Use of Customer Feedback

Amazon invites all of its customers to provide feedback with respect to packages received. Amazon receives customer stories, inclusive of images, relating to packaging that does work well and also when customers’ expectations fall short.

All feedback of this nature is reviewed by Amazon’s packaging team. After this, they continuously work with manufacturers to make enhancements in packaging design and delivery.

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