Nearly Half of Amazon Shareholders Support Proposal Calling for Cuts in Single Use Plastic
Steady progress in the fight against plastic pollution was sustained at the annual meeting of Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, as 35% of shareholders supported a proposal asking the company to reduce the amount of plastics used in its operations.
The proposal, filed by As You Sow and Green Century Funds, says Amazon’s substantial and growing use of plastic packaging exposes the company to increased financial risk from the millions of tons of plastic that end up in oceans and the environment, harming wildlife and marine ecosystems. Amazon has not disclosed how much plastic it uses. A report by environmental group Oceana estimates that the company used 465 million-pounds of e-commerce plastic packaging in 2019, and that as much as 22 million pounds of its packaging waste was mismanaged and could have entered and polluted freshwater and marine ecosystems.
The written proposal asked the company to disclose how much of its packaging escapes to the environment, to disclose company strategies or goals to reduce use of plastic packaging, and evaluate opportunities for dramatically reducing the amount of plastics used in packaging.
Five additional global companies who received the same proposal from As You Sow as Amazon have agreed to reduce use of virgin plastic.
An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastics leak into oceans annually and this figure is expected to grow to 24 metric tons by 2040 unless a range of drastic remedial actions are taken.