The Amazon Web Store destroys nearly millions of new and new products every year in the UK alone. It was reported that the British channel ITV secretly filmed images from the distribution center of the American company in Dunfermline, Scotland. Amazon has a total of 24 distribution centers in the UK.
According to a distribution center employee who told his story anonymously, it often included more than 100,000 items per week. This could be anything: brand-new TVs, expensive Dyson vacuum cleaners, books, headphones, and also mouthguards that were still in plastic. According to the employee, about half of the damaged items are new and the rest are returned goods and in good condition.
Lots of items are taken to recycling centers, but ITV has also seen trucks headed to landfill. These things could have been donated to charity easily. Amazon does this too, but with much fewer products.
Product destruction is related to Amazon’s business model. The US company also stores items from other companies that sell through the Amazon platform in its own distribution centers. Sellers pay for it and the longer items are not sold, the more expensive it is. So destroying these items will become cheaper for these sellers at some point.
In a statement, Amazon denies that items in the UK go directly to landfill. The company states that it intends to resell, donate, or recycle the items to charities. “We are working towards a goal where no product is ever phased out.”