A letter by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, which is doing rounds on social media, says that amazon will stop the use of single-use plastics by June 2020.
“Amazon is invested in sustainable growth and is the first company to sign the Climate Pledge with the commitment to meet the Paris Accord 10 years early,” the letter read.
It also said that they’ll be adding 10,000 electric rikshaws to their delivery fleet.
No processing of 70% of the plastic discarded in India
Plastic pollution has always remained a huge problem in India. The government estimates that about 70% of the plastic the country consumes is simply discarded and there is no processing of waste in most Indian cities.
In spite of the widespread knowledge about the harmful effects of plastics, its low cost and high utility ensure that it remains ubiquitous in today’s world. The businesses continue to use it, as it increases their profit margins and consumers continue to accept it as it keeps the cost low.
Amazon had last year also announced that it will remove all non-recyclable plastic from its deliveries in India by June 2020, replacing the “air pillows” and bubble wrap it uses to protect products with padding made out of paper but there was no follow up after that.
Aditya Dubey, a student environment activist from New Delhi who is majorly against the use of single-use plastics, had last year had filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal against Amazon and Flipkart for excessive use of plastic by these companies to deliver goods.
“Single-use plastic has emerged as one of the biggest environmental challenges for our planet. It is cheap, useful, ubiquitous and very deadly. The fact that it’s non-biodegradable and is recycled in very small percentages means that our plant is with passage of time is becoming a big dumping ground for single-use plastic. Single-use plastic breaks down into smaller fragments known as microplastics and then contaminates soil and water,” the petition said.
While E- commerce giant Amazon’s move is being hailed as a major step, will other players also follow suit?