A new report from environmental group Oceana shows that last year, Amazon generated 709 million pounds of plastic waste, which represents an 18% increase compared to 2020, The Hill reported.
Despite the repeated pledge by the company to stop harming aquatic life by reducing its plastic pollution, about 26 million pounds of Amazon’s plastic waste flowed into the waterways and oceans around the world in 2021, up from 23.5 million pounds in 2020.
According to Oceana’s estimates noted in its report released Thursday, the Earth could be circled more than 800 times in the form of air pillows with the amount of total plastic waste that the e-commerce giant has created.
Oceana’s senior VP for strategic initiatives, Matt Littlejohn, underscored in his statement that the threat to the oceans that the type of plastic used by Amazon for its packaging is posing.
Although the plastic film used by Amazon is recyclable – it’s the standard plastic type used in plastic bags – consumers often don’t recycle it since the local county and municipal facilities are not accepting it.
Studies showed that just 5% of the plastic waste generated in 2021 was recycled whereas the rest ended up in landfills or in waterways. The situation with plastic pollution is so serious that, for the first time this year, microplastics were actually found in human blood.
According to Oceana, that plastic film which can entangle sea critters in the ocean and kill marine life is the most common plastic found in waterways, so, according to Littlejohn, Amazon must end its reliance on this material that is devastating the world’s oceans and reduce its plastic packaging footprint.
Amazon, on the other hand, claims that Oceana’s numbers are exaggerated and inaccurate, underscoring in a blog post that it had only produced 214 million pounds of plastic waste in 2021.
These numbers, however, do not include the third-party sellers-generated waste which Oceana reportedly included in its estimates.