Amid the pandemic, next-day delivery surged as it was how many got groceries and the things they needed amid the lockdown. However, it was devastating for the planet as waste from packaging grew, and workers were forced to meet harsh deadlines.
Amazon first offered Prime delivery in 2005 and has attracted millions of subscribers for the free delivery in less than 48 hours. During the pandemic, Amazon’s 200 million Prime subscribers were ordering more than the company had ever seen before. In the first three months of 2021, Amazon sales grew 44 percent, leading to an 8.1 billion dollar profit.
Amazon sold 44 percent more items during the pandemic, The Guardian reported, but the cost to fulfill the orders only increased by 31 percent. This is because the order volume was so high they were able to operate their warehouses more efficiently.
Source: Our Changing Climate/Youtube
Quick delivery services like Amazon’s Prime is what many people relied on for groceries and other necessities during the pandemic. Now, as life is returning to normal, many are likely to stick with the quick delivery service. This puts a huge strain on the environment. Amazon Prime ships 1.6 million packages every day. While some people only use delivery services like this for necessities or groceries, many use fast delivery for things they don’t need quickly or at all for that matter.
In addition to the environmental impact of these billions of packages being delivered, there’s also a huge strain being put on Amazon workers. Many have spoken out against Amazon and said that they put profits over their workers. A survey taken at an Amazon warehouse in Long Island found that 42 percent of workers reported physical pain during their work duties.
“Amazon constantly reminds us they put profits over their workers,” Amazon worker Jacon told The Guardian. “I ended up having a normal 200-plus stop day on Easter Sunday. Zero mercy shown.”
The Guardian reported that in some cities, Amazon is promising packages in just five hours or telling customers if they order by midnight, they can receive the package the next morning. Now that customers have had these insanely fast delivery times, it’s unlikely they will settle for anything less.
Amazon often outsources delivery services to different companies like UPS, US Postal Services, and many companies for contracted drivers. Contracted drivers often drive their own vehicles or smaller cars in general, meaning they can hold fewer packages and have to drive back to the warehouse more often.
Most times, customers order items that are entirely different, meaning it’s harder to consolidate and put them in one package. A customer could order five small items and receive them all in different boxes. Often, customers can choose to wait longer to receive one package with their items but in today’s world, many don’t think about what the hundreds of packages they receive are doing to the planet, not to mention the packaging that is already around the item they are buying. If someone opts out of waiting longer and getting their items in different packages, this also means that the delivery driver has to drive there likely two days in a row, which doesn’t help the planet out at all.
Source: NBC News/Youtube
Often customers going to order a product from Amazon will order much more than just one product because the one-day shipping incentivizes more purchases. This means more fuel being used in the vehicles, more packaging, and more strain on the workers. It’s important to think about if we truly need the item we are purchasing and if we need that product as soon as possible. Conscious purchasing is the name of the game, and the choices we make have a much bigger impact than we often think.
Please sign this petition to demand Amazon treat their workers better!
- Oceana Reveals Amazon’s Increased Use of Plastic Packaging
- Amazon Settles with Female Employees Believed to be Fired For Questioning Climate and Labor Policies
- Amazon Warehouse Destroys Millions of Unused Items, Per Report
- Petition: Tell Jeff Bezos and Amazon to Commit to 100% Sustainable Packaging!
- Amazon Says It’s Now the Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy
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