Amazon Destroying Large Quantities of Unsold and Returned Items – 13 August 2021

The company – Amazon is destroying millions of new and unused items every year which is hugely wasteful, and harms the environment by adding to the already massive problem of landfills.

Landfills are a big source of pollution. I was elected on a manifesto that recognised that “waste, including plastic waste, pollutes our land and seas, killing wildlife and contaminating our food”. It committed to “make producers responsible for their own waste and for the full cost of recycling or disposal, encouraging more sustainable design and manufacturing”.

We already have a world where over-production and over-consumerism is damaging our environment and ecology, and even where some of the contents of, say, electrical items are recycled, this still represents a waste of the original production cycle.

I have serious concerns also about unsafe, intense working conditions in Amazon workplaces, the second-by-second tracking of workers movements, the anti-union stance taken, and notably, Amazon’s use of tax havens which means they pay minimal levels of tax.

Cheap labour, low or no taxes, huge profits and not even the heart to let the hard-pressed workers have access to unwanted items paints a picture of a cold, money-making machine with no humanity. I have always supported unionisation including at all Amazon depots, notably working with the GMB in Sheffield, and supporting the Alabama warehouse campaign earlier this year.

The deliberate destruction of unopened or unused products by Amazon on an industrial scale demonstrates the need for changes to the law to ensure that companies are not able to pollute the environment in this way.