Amazon India aims to eliminate single-use plastic containers by June 2020

New Delhi, September 4 () The e-commerce giant Amazon India said Wednesday that it aims to remove single-use plastic from its packaging by June 2020 as part of its sustainability efforts in the country.

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to avoid single-use plastic to protect the environment.

Amazon, which is immersed in an intense battle for market leadership against Flipkart, owned by Walmart, said less than seven percent of the packaging at Amazon's fulfillment centers (FC or warehouses) is now a single-plastic use.

Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to create solutions that optimize the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create ecological packaging, said Akhil Saxena, Vice President of Amazon India.

He added that Amazon India will introduce 'paper cushions' that will replace plastic filler material such as air pads and bubble wrap at their FC in India.

This eco-friendly and fully recyclable packaging solution has already been launched in selected warehouses and will be extended to all Amazon FC in the country by the end of the year, he said.

Rival Flipkart had said last week that it had reduced its use of single-use plastic by 25 percent throughout its packaging value chain and, as its goal is to move towards the consumption of recycled plastic to 100 percent in its Supply chain for March 2021.

Saxena said the company has also pledged to collect plastic, equivalent to all plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfillment network in the country, as of September 2019.

This is an extension of the initiative that has been underway in Maharashtra for about a year.

During his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Modi had urged people to observe the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi this year as a day to make India exhort municipalities, NGOs and the corporate sector to find forms of safety disposal of accumulated plastic waste before Diwali.

Saxena explained that Amazon India is aggressively developing free plastic alternatives for packaging, plastic bags, elastic wrappers and tapes used in the packaging, which will help the company eliminate all forms of plastic used in its packaging. We will also help educate our vendors who directly comply with customer orders to join us in this directional change in packaging, he added. SR SVK ANS ANS