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Amazon must take responsibility for 2m daily UK parcel deliveries

Customers have to dispose of cardboard used by the online retail giant, which often means landfill or incineration, rather than recycling. 

Now sustainability experts are calling on Amazon to take responsibility for an average 2million carboard parcels delivered to UK homes on a daily basis. 

One tonne of cardboard consumes approximately 17 trees, and while 70% of the material used in Britain is recycled each year, this still leaves one-third destined for single-use waste streams, with a huge environmental cost. 

In addition to Amazon taking responsibility for what happens after boxes are emptied and parcels have been delivered – specifically, a collection service for used packaging – analysts at have suggested that tighter regulations should be introduced to stop over-sized packaging being used. 

By reducing excess packaging, this could help bring down the carbon footprint of recycling the used cardboard. As with all forms of recycling, the process involved is energy intensive and traditionally contributes to emissions and power demand. 

‘Just over 70% of cardboard is recycled in the UK, which means nearly a third ends up in landfill or being incinerated when it could be recycled. That’s bound to include plenty of Amazon delivery boxes, as cardboard is the most common packaging waste material. This need to stop and Amazon needs to take some responsibility,’ said Graham Matthews, sustainability expert at

In related news, a recent study by the George Institute for Global Health and Imperial College London’s School of Public Health showed that ‘carbon labelling’ on supermarket products could reduce emissions by up to 71%

More on waste and recycling: 

Research begins into using sewage to clean water bodies

Funding boost for Folkestone Repair Café

Where to find UK coastline ‘paddle out’ sewage protests this weekend



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