After my blogging complaint a couple of months ago (January 25th) about wasteful packaging of a knife rack for The Larches, I’m glad to report the US manager overseeing the global packaging initiative at Amazon has written back to say that the UK team has taken up the complaint and looked at the processes involved with the supplier of the knife. She commented:
“They shared the blog with Kitchencraft and Kitchencraft is going to repackage their products for us using minimalistic cardboard box shippable without overboxing. Thx for the feedback!”
So for the future Kitchencraft will mend its ways and provide smaller packs for small items, reducing therefore the paper packing needed. This is good news for the environment.
But the package in question came with the usual Amazon badged box and packaging, so I had assumed that it had come directly from Amazon and from one of its own warehouses.
Amazon’s response shows I was wrong and implies that some and maybe a lot of Amazon’s inventory is sent to customers by suppliers not directly controlled by Amazon. What happens with these other suppliers?
It’s clear that Amazon is concerned enough about the issue of wasteful or poor packaging to have a policy and international initiative on the issue.
As a massive online retailer they should be, particularly since they receive a lot of complaints, like this broader one on an Amazon forum earlier this month “What’s Up with Amazon’s Poor Packaging Lately?“.
But it’s obviously not a simple matter. I’ve complained about wasteful packaging. Others complain about damage from too little packaging!
As a result of my complaint are we going to see a change in packaging policy across all Amazon’s sales, regardless of supplier or country or will this case be a ‘one off’ for the UK with one kitchen equipment supplier?
Ultimately it all depends on the control Amazon has over fulfilment policy and the training of staff across the whole of its operations including both those in Amazon warehouses and those in partner companies who supply goods.
One worry must be that a focus on getting the right packaging for the particular job will lead to slower delivery times across the board. Green policies do not necessarily lead to a faster service. With Amazon expanding its reach into more areas – like specialist sports equipment for instance – these issues may get harder to fix!