Shoppers Can Now Use Amazon’s Sustainable Boxes in These Creative Ways

Not sure how to recycle or dispose of your Amazon packages? The e-commerce giant has come up with a creative solution.

As part of its Climate Pledge, Amazon has launched an initiative dubbed “less packaging, more smiles.” Starting next week, the company will deliver products in boxes that are designed to be turned into forts, cat condos and makeshift mini-golf courses, as well as play cars, rockets, robot costumes and more — before they’re dropped off in recycling bins.

On the boxes, consumers will find a QR code that, when scanned with their smartphones, will direct them to Amazon’s ThisBox website that show step-by-step instructions on how to make the cardboard creations.

“When our packaging uses less material, weighs less, and is the right size to protect customer orders, we can pack more orders into each delivery, resulting in fewer trips, less fuel burned — all of which minimize our carbon footprint,” read a post on its blog, Day One.

The online retailer’s Second Chance program also provides customers with information on how they can recycle packaging, as well as how to trade in, repair or dispose of both Amazon and non-Amazon devices and products.

In recent years, Amazon has ramped up its efforts in eco-friendly packaging, delivery and other business operations amid criticisms over its environmental track record. Last month, the Seattle-based company launched The Climate Pledge Fund with an initial $2 billion venture-capital investment toward businesses that are working on “sustainable technologies and services.” The companies could span across industries including transportation and logistics; energy generation, storage and utilization; manufacturing and materials; the circular economy; as well as food and agriculture.

Last spring, more than 3,500 Amazon employees penned an open letter to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, urging a companywide plan to address climate change. The workers sought an end to the use of fossil fuels, as well as urged the company to cut emissions in half by 2030 and reduce them to zero by 2050. Amazon promised then to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and achieve net zero carbon use by 2040 through its Climate Pledge.

According to its 2019 sustainability report, Amazon is on the path to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of schedule — and is currently working on 91 renewable energy projects around the world. It also said it has made two investments from its $100 million Right Now Climate Fund in “nature-based solutions” and reforestation projects, plus eliminated more than 880,000 tons of packaging material since 2015.

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