AMAZON.COM, INC. | Sustainable packaging policies for plastics at AMAZON.COM, INC.

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Waste and pollution
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Amazon Board issue a report, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, describing how the Company could reduce its plastics footprint by committing to make all packaging curbside recyclable, reusable, or compostable. The report should also describe setting goals for overall plastic packaging reduction in alignment with the findings of the Pew Report, or other authoritative sources, to significantly reduce ocean plastic pollution.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Without immediate and sustained new commitments to make packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable, and to reduce overall plastic use, annual flows of plastics into oceans could nearly triple by 2040.[1] Unfortunately, the authoritative study Breaking the Plastic Wave, by Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew Report), concluded that if all current industry and government commitments were met, ocean plastic deposition would be reduced by only 7%.

Improved recycling must be coupled with reductions in use, materials redesign, and substitution. The Pew Report concludes that plastic demand should be reduced by at least one-third to cut ocean plastic pollution 80% by 2040, and that reducing plastic production is the most attractive solution from environmental, economic, and social perspectives. Countries and other major brands have committed to significant cuts in the use of virgin and single-use plastics.[2]

This growing plastic pollution crisis poses increasing risks to Amazon. Corporations could face an annual financial risk of approximately $100 billion should governments require them to cover the waste management costs of the packaging they produce, a policy that is increasingly being enacted around the globe.[3]

Amazon has disclosed how much plastic it uses to ship orders but does not disclose how much plastic packaging it uses overall. The Company markets more than 100 brands of consumer goods, food, and beverages, many of which are packaged in plastic. Its Whole Foods subsidiary and Happy Belly brand sell numerous goods in flexible multi-layer packaging that cannot be routinely recycled. The Company is also notably absent from participating in the largest pre-competitive corporate initiative to address plastic pollution, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Competitors, including Walmart and Target, have adopted goals to make plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025, while Amazon has not.

Reducing Amazon’s overall plastic packaging and making all packaging recyclable are necessary steps to combat the plastic pollution crisis. Our Company is overdue on taking action on this important issue.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: The report should, at Board discretion:

Quantify the weight of total plastic packaging used by the Company;

Set a time-bound goal to make packaging curbside recyclable, reusable, or compostable;

Set a time-bound goal to reduce the amount of plastics used in Company packaging;

Assess the reputational, financial, and operational risks associated with continuing to use substantial plastic packaging while plastic pollution grows;

Describe any planned reduction strategies or goals, materials redesign, transition to reusables, substitution, or reductions in Company use of plastic packaging.

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