According to a distribution center employee who anonymously told his story, 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. It was possible to donate things 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 the goods at a certain point will become cheaper for these sellers.
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 phased out.”
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