An investigation by the UK’s Amazon Warehouse found that it marks millions of items for destruction every year. For this, the company had given a weekly target to its employees to destroy 1,30,000 items.
An Amazon warehouse in Scotland destroys millions of unsold products every year. This has been found in an investigation by British news outlet ITV. ITV has released secret footage found inside an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland. Footage shows laptops, smart TVs, jewellery, headphones, books and face masks being loaded into the “destroy” box.
A former Amazon employee told ITV that warehouse workers were given a weekly target of 130,000 items to destroy. This was confirmed by an internal memo seen by ITV, which showed that during a week in April, 1,24,000 items were marked “destroyed”. In the same week, 28,000 products were marked as “donated”.
Exclusive: Amazon is destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, an ITV News investigation has uncovered.
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 21, 2021
A former employee told ITV, no reason has been given for the goods being destroyed. MacBooks and iPads and 20,000 COVID (face) masks have also been seen among the items being destroyed. He said about half of the items marked for destruction were still in crumpled wrappers, while the rest were returned in good condition. An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that Dunfermline handles all products marked distro across the UK.
If it has a weekly average of 1,30,000, this would include over 6 million products marked for destruction every year. In 2019, undercover journalists in France found that Amazon destroyed more than 3 million products in one year. ITV loaded boxes of products marked “destroy” into trucks and taken to recycling centers as well as a landfill site. In a statement to Insider, an Amazon spokesperson said the landfill site reported by ITV was also a recycling center.
“We are working toward the goal of zero product disposal and our priority is to resell, donate to charitable organizations, or recycle any products we sell,” the spokesperson said.
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