Amazon’s Shocking Move: Is Cardboard Dead?

is revolutionizing its approach to packaging, taking significant strides away from its signature cardboard materials.

Shifting Away from Cardboard

Amazon's strategy now includes various alternatives to the traditional cardboard box. These range from packaging-free services to cardboard envelopes and even paper bags. This new approach is a part of Amazon's sustained efforts to minimize waste and lower its carbon footprint.

Operations Innovation Lab

Taking center stage in spearheading this innovative strategy is Amazon's Operations Lab based in Vercelli, Italy. The lab has seen an investment exceeding 700 million euros over the past five years to develop cutting-edge distribution center technologies in Europe.

These technologies include automated packaging , robotic universal labeling machines, and sorting machines. These innovations have significantly contributed to Amazon's packaging revolution.

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Reducing Packaging Waste

Pat Lindner, Amazon's vice president of Mechatronics and Sustainable Packaging, has declared the company's commitment to further reduce packaging waste. Notably, 50% of packages shipped in Europe now come in either recyclable or reduced-size packaging, or are delivered without any packaging at all.

Among the plans for the future is the idea of shipping all items in a single order within one package. There is also a move to persuade partners to reconsider their packaging strategies. The results have been promising, with a reduction of more than 26 grams of packaging per shipment on some machines.

Innovative Tech Developments

Several technological advancements are bolstering Amazon's new packaging strategy. The Universal Robotic Labeller is capable of adapting label sizes to match package sizes, thereby reducing cardboard usage. The Universal Item Sorter, equipped with wireless technology, can sort thousands of items daily, saving time and reducing worker strain.

Moreover, the automated packing technology creates custom-sized paper bags for small items such as video games, office supplies, or socks, drastically reducing the need for larger, wasteful packaging materials.

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Impact on Packaging

Since 2015, Amazon has managed to shed 41% off the average weight of its packages. This shift has helped the company avoid the usage of 2 million tons of packaging material. These developments underscore Amazon's commitment to environmental sustainability and its determination to continually evolve its operations for the betterment of our planet.

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