- Jeff Bezos pledged $US10 billion to fight climate change via a new initiative called the Bezos Earth Fund, he announced on Monday.
- Bezos said the money would be used to support the work of scientists, activists, and nongovernmental organisations, among others, “to help preserve and protect the natural world.”
- But critics on social media said the billionaire should make changes closer to home first and commit to using less packaging for Amazon parcels.
- Amazon has frequently been called out for its tendency to use lots of packaging to send small items.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Jeff Bezos pledged $US10 billion to fight climate change via his Bezos Earth Fund initiative, but critics said the billionaire should make changes to closer to home first and reduce the amount of packaging used to send Amazon parcels.
“Could he please start with his ridiculous packaging that he leaves on our doorstep??? Perhaps the amazon delivery ???? could collect the significant waste left behind,” one person wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
“If #Bezos wants to do something for the world, he can start with his excessive packaging. Amazon shipping is the most wastefully of any retailer out there. Is junking up the world with plastics part of #BezosEarthFund?” another wrote.
Amazon has frequently been called out for its tendency to use lots of packaging to send small items – numerous social-media posts have documented this, with people sharing images of relatively small items in giant boxes.
@AmazonUK You just delivered to me a slim 1m long boom pole in this massive 1.5x1m box! Gobsmacked by this shocking waste of resources on a planet that is already suffocating. As a huge contributor to packaging waste how can you justify this? #amazon #packaging #waste pic.twitter.com/saC5pwBArg
— matt pelly (@mattpelly) December 15, 2017
— Samantha (@SickSadSamantha) February 16, 2020
Ordered 3x peelers from @AmazonUK last night (because it was a minimum order quantity)… So why did you have to pack them in 3 separate pieces of packaging?! #excessivepackaging #packingwaste #amazon #waste pic.twitter.com/0U1ThOqMU5
— Rob O'Hagan (@Rob_OHagan) February 16, 2020
@amazon you should probably look into whoever is in charge of packaging. All this box for 1 tiny little pack of lightbulbs the size of a AAA battery. I get boxes like this all the time. Imagine the profits going to waste here. pic.twitter.com/X1NIm3EeN3
— Justin (@flik623) February 11, 2020
In some cases, Amazon customer-service agents responding to complaints on Twitter said they would look into it.
@amazon you guys must really hate the environment. This is ridiculous. A huge box for a tiny bottle of nail polish? The packaging probably cost more than the nail polish. How do you make money? This should be your corporate initiative this year. Reduce packaging waste. pic.twitter.com/saD3Lz7QD8
— Apextroll (@Apextroll2) July 23, 2019
In a statement emailed to Business Insider, an Amazon representative said that the company has reduced the amount of packaging it uses.
“At Amazon, we’re constantly working to eliminate waste across our operations. Since 2008, sustainable packaging initiatives at Amazon including Frustration-Free Packaging have eliminated more than 810,000 tons of packaging materials and have reduced packaging weight per shipment by 27%. For packaging Amazon deliveries, we’re moving from mixed material packaging solutions – paper with plastic cushion mailers – to material that is fully compatible in either paper or plastic recycling streams,” the spokesperson said.
Bezos said in an Instagram post on Monday that the $US10 billion would be used to fund the work of scientists, activists, and nongovernmental organisations, among others, “to help preserve and protect the natural world.” He said the initiative would issue grants starting this summer.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” he wrote on Instagram. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”
His announcement came amid mounting pressure from employees of Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, to do more to fight climate change.
In January, more than 350 employees signed an open letter that called out the company’s climate policies and urged Bezos to invest more money in fighting climate change instead of putting it toward his space-exploration company, Blue Origin, for example.
“Amazon, the Earth is our only home. Spend more money on fighting Climate Change than on space exploration!” one Amazon employee wrote in the letter, Business Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton reported.