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Amazon found to be sending millions of unsold items to a 'destruction zone' at a UK warehouse

Amazon sends millions of items to its 'destruction zone', yearly. (Image source: Christian Wiediger)
Amazon sends millions of items to its 'destruction zone', yearly. (Image source: Christian Wiediger)
Amazon may be running its Prime Day sales, but ITV News has revealed the extent to which the company sends unsold products to landfill and recycling centres. According to the report, Amazon only donates a fraction of unsold products and sends up to 200,000 items for destruction every week, just at one of its two-dozen Amazon UK warehouses alone.

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An investigation by ITV News has found Amazon to be destroying millions of products every year. According to the report, Amazon has marked anything from face masks to iPads and MacBooks for destruction, with many products going straight to landfill.

ITV News only investigated one of Amazon's two-dozen UK warehouses, but it found that 125,000 products were marked 'destroy' in just a week. However, an ex-employee claimed that Amazon targeted its staff to 'generally destroy 130,000 items a week'. The ex-employee added that 65,000 of these items were unopened, with the remaining 65,000 returned items in good condition. Amazon could destroy up to 200,000 items in a week though, according to the same ex-employee, which would equate to between 6.7 million and 10.4 million destroyed products per year.

Amazon donates some of its unwanted items, but the 28,000 figure described in ITV News' report is under 25% of what it destroys. Unsurprisingly, Amazon insists that it only sends items 'to energy recovery...as a last resort' and denies that it sends anything to landfill. ITV News claims to have tracked Amazon lorries full of items marked 'destroy' to recycling centres of landfill sites, though.

Apparently, Amazon is disposing of so many products because vendors store them in its warehouses. Amazon charges these vendors to hold their products, so it eventually becomes cheaper to destroy them than to continue storing them. Amazon has been accused of following similar practices in France, but this is the first time someone has published footage from Amazon's 'destruction zone'.

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(Image source: ITV News)
(Image source: ITV News)

Source(s)

ITV News (1) (2), Christian Wiediger - Image source

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4123 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 06 > Amazon found to be sending millions of unsold items to a 'destruction zone' at a UK warehouse
Alex Alderson, 2021-06-22 (Update: 2021-06-22)