Amazon is launching an initiative called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations. This initiative should help support charities while also reducing the amount of waste Amazon sends to landfill. Which is, by all accounts, a rather shocking amount.
Amazon Sends Unwanted Items to Garbage Dumps
According to multiple reports, Amazon is guilty of generating a lot of waste. In May 2019, CBS News reported that one facility sent 293,000 unsold or unwanted products to a garbage dump over the course of nine months.
Part of the problem appears to be that Amazon charges more to send returned or unsold products back to sellers than it does to trash them. With CNBC claiming it costs sellers 50 cents to have a product returned but 15 cents to have a product trashed.
How Fulfillment by Amazon Donations Works
Amazon’s answer to this problem is Fulfillment by Amazon Donations. Which, in a post on The Day One Blog, Amazon describes as a program “where eligible excess and returned products from sellers using FBA will be made available to charitable organizations”.
Starting in September 2019, Amazon will start donating products from sellers using FBA. These products, whether returned items or unwanted stock, will be donated to charitable organizations located in the US and the UK.
These charities include Good360, “a global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving,” plus Newlife, the Salvation Army, and Barnardo’s. Fulfillment by Amazon Donations will be the default option for FBA sellers, though they can opt out if they want.
Alice Shobe, Director of Amazon in the Community, said, “We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities. We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfillment services.”
We Need to Cut Down on Electronic Waste
This is a good effort by Amazon which should have a positive effect. Charities will get to make use of perfectly good products which would have otherwise ended up in landfill. Which is an even better outcome than recycling electronic waste.