Knight Bites: Amazon plastic is flooding the world

Amazon plays major role in ocean plastic pollution, says Oceana Canada. Our illustrator outlines what it means for the planet

Illustration by Kyle Metcalf

Amazon is playing a major role in ocean plastic pollution, according to a report by Oceana Canada. Between all the plastic "air pillows," bubble wrap and other plastic packaging items padding approximately seven billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019, Oceana estimates that Amazon generated 211 million kilograms of plastic packaging waste last year.

"In Canada, Amazon’s plastic footprint is disproportionately large, generating an estimated 21.3 million kilograms of plastic waste in 2019 – 1.2 times more than in India, and more than Japan, Brazil, Spain and Mexico combined."

Oceana Canada is calling on Amazon to offer plastic-free options.

It's also petitioning the federal government to expand its proposed single-use plastic ban list to include additional problematic plastic items, resins and material types. "The six single-use items identified in the proposed ban list do not significantly contribute to the 3.3 million tonnes of plastic waste that is thrown away every year in Canada. As stated by the Minister, the ban covers less than one per cent of Canada’s current plastic use –less than 47,000 metric tonnes."

Considering Canada’s plastic use is expected to increase by 30% by 2030 and Amazon continues to experience record-breaking sales, environmental advocates want action to be taken immediately.

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