An investigation is proving that Amazon is a highly wasteful company. As a retailer that stocks almost anything you might be looking for, the number of wasted items is possibly unparalleled.
A new undercover investigation by ITV News has discovered just how wasteful Amazon truly is. Every year, the company condemns a haunting number of items to destruction. The damming report highlights the horrifying destruction of just a single one of the company's warehouses.
Amazon destroys millions of usable items
The ITV investigation released footage taken at Amazon's Dunfermline facility. ITV's footage reveals a dedicated “destruction zone" within the facility. This zone manages thousands of items marked for before sending them out. Within the list of items, we can see Smart TVs, laptops, books, drills, COVID masks, extension cables and more.
An anonymous former employee explained:
“From a Friday to a Friday, our target was approximately 130,000 items per week. I gasped: there's no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed. Dyson fans, hoovers, the occasional Macbook or iPad. Or, the other day, 20 bins filled with COVID masks still in their plastic wrappers. Overall, I’d say 50% of items are unopened and still in their shrink wrap. The other half are returns but in good condition.”
The footage shows a manager’s computer that has a stock spreadsheet. The spreadsheet showed 124,332 items listed for destruction for that week. Amazon does send unsold items to charity. However, that figure was a much lower 27,213.
Furthermore, a second source told ITV, "Lots of things from brand new iPhones to PlayStations, we got rid of brand new books.”
Why does this happen?
ITV explains that Amazon charges companies that wish to store their items within Amazon Warehouses, an essential cost for those who wish to have fast delivery times on their items. However, as items continue to go unsold, the cost of keeping items in the warehouse becomes too high.
As such, it's cheaper for companies to allow Amazon to destroy items than get them returned. This leads to millions of destroyed items per warehouse every year. However, this does lead many to ask: Why aren't these items being donated?