A secretly recorded video shows how goods are marked as “to be destroyed” at Amazon Great Britain and immediately correspond to this label. These include laptops, TVs, jewelry, headphones, books and face masks – unused. It is not the first time that disposal is uncomfortable. In Germany too, research by Greenpeace, Panorama magazine and Die Zeit recently revealed that Amazon destroys goods in order to save storage costs.
ITV News reportsthat there is a plant in Dunfermline, Scotland, in which up to 130,000 products are destroyed every week, the number comes from a former employee who wants to remain anonymous. It is said to have been issued as a target. There was no recognizable reason why which goods were released for destruction: Sometimes it was Dyson hair dryers, sometimes Macbooks, sometimes packed and unused Covid face masks. 23 other such centers are to be located in Great Britain. After the destruction, parts of the goods would be recycled, but much of it would simply end up in a landfill.
Disposal instead of storage costs
Only a small part of the products that have not been accepted at Amazon for a long time would be donated. The report states that 124,000 parts were destroyed within one week, while only 28,000 products were declared as donations within the same week.
Amazon also destroys goods in Winsen (Luhe) in Lower Saxony in order to reduce storage costs. Greenpeace had smuggled in an employee here. Recordings show that there are eight “destroy stations” for proper sorting and disposal. Panorama and Die Zeit employees have checked and confirmed the facts documented by Greenpeace. There is also a price list for third-party suppliers that matches how goods are handled: Since April 2021, retailers have been able to pay a fee for products that are stored for a long time, or they can request removal or disposal.
But even before that there were reports of the massive destruction of goods. Amazon said they were trying to reduce disposal. “If products cannot be sold, resold or donated, we work together with buyers of leftover stocks who resell these goods through other channels,” it said in 2018. And this time, too, the Amazon UK boss is said to have said to ITV that only a very small amount of goods is destroyed and the aim is to reduce this amount to zero.