An Amazon warehouse in Scotland (UK) destroys millions of unsold products each year, it found ITV. As part of its investigation, the British media recorded videos inside the company’s warehouse in Dunfermline, showing laptops, televisions, jewelry, headphones, books and masks that were loaded into boxes marked with the word “destroy.”
An anonymous former Amazon employee told ITV that warehouse workers were assigned a weekly goal of shredding 130,000 items. This was corroborated by an internal note seen by the media, which showed that during a week in April, 124,000 items were marked as “destroy”. In that same week, only 28,000 products were marked with the word “donate.”
Exclusive: Amazon is destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, an ITV News investigation has uncovered. Many of the products – including smart TVs and laptops – are often new and unused. https://t.co/OJjexB0YQd#AmazonWastepic.twitter.com/UR7XrLWvIM
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 21, 2021
“There is no logic or reason for what is destroyed: Dyson dryers, Hoovers vacuum cleaners, some MacBooks and iPads. The other day, 20,000 anticovid face masks still in their packaging,” said the former employee, adding that half of the items marked for destruction were still in their respective wrapping, while the other half were items returned in good condition.
If 130,000 items is a weekly average, that would translate to more than six million products marked for destruction each year. In 2019, undercover reporters in France revealed that Amazon had destroyed more than three million products in one year.
“The goal of zero waste”
During the investigation, ITV also recorded boxes of products marked “destroy” loaded onto trucks and taken to recycling centers, as well as a landfill.
For its part, a spokesman for the e-commerce giant told the outlet that Amazon is working to not throw items away and that nothing is being sent to a landfill in the UK. The spokesperson added that items are sometimes sent to facilities that burn garbage as fuel for electricity production, a practice that is more environmentally friendly than simply stacking it in landfills or landfills.
“We are working towards the goal of zero product waste and our priority is to resell, donate to charities or recycle any unsold product,” the spokesperson told ITV.