Charts: Plastic Waste from Ecommerce Is Flooding the World


In a groundbreaking report titled “Amazon’s Plastic Problem Revealed,” Oceana, a nonprofit campaigning for the ocean, described the amount of plastic packaging waste generated worldwide by e-commerce in general, and Amazon in particular. “Amazon has a plastic problem,” the report said, adding that in 2019 the company produced enough plastic to make it around the world 500 times.

The December 2020 report found the volume of plastic packaging waste in 2019 for the entire e-commerce industry, including Amazon, as well as the projected waste for the industry through 2025.

It also describes the types of plastic waste generated by the e-commerce industry in 2019.

The report listed the 10 countries that produced the most plastic packaging waste from e-commerce in 2019. China and the US far outperform the UK, the third largest country.

Much of the 51-page report is aimed directly at Amazon – its packaging methods, shipping systems, and massive scale. The report shows the estimated distribution of Amazon’s plastic packaging waste by country in 2019 and the percentage of total e-commerce plastic waste in the country that came from Amazon. In the US, 37.3% of all e-commerce plastic waste comes from Amazon. In Germany it is 49%; Canada is 48%.

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