Will destroy Amazon brands

Greenpeace reveals: Amazon continues to destroy new goods

The environmental organization Greenpeace has found out after its own investigations that Amazon destroys new goods in Germany. But that is exactly what is now prohibited by law.

Amazon destroys new goods

Greenpeace can also substantiate the allegations: The organization had smuggled in a "researcher" for several weeks as an employee in the Amazon logistics center in Winsen, Lower Saxony, who documented the destruction of new goods. Accordingly, there would be explicit “destroy stations” where products in their original packaging would be pre-sorted for destruction. According to the organization, at least one truckload of unsold goods - from T-shirts to books to brand-new electrical items - would be destroyed at one location every week.

Law prohibits the destruction of new goods

There has been a law in Germany since 2020 that forbids precisely this waste of resources. The so-called duty of care is intended to prevent intact goods from being destroyed. But so far the duty of care has neither been implemented nor monitored by the authorities, according to Greenpeace. "Amazon focuses solely on quick sales and therefore considers the space on the shelf to be more important than the product in it - a waste of resources that is harmful to the climate!", Says Viola Wohlgemuth, consumer expert from Greenpeace.

Amazon is not in its sights for the first time

The latest research exposes Amazon as a repeat offender: In 2019, Greenpeace in Winsen discovered for the first time that Amazon regularly throws away new goods. The revelation had contributed to the fact that in 2020 the Bundestag introduced new rules for retailers as part of a reform of the Recycling Management Act: According to the text of the law, the duty of care stipulates that "when selling products, including in connection with their taking back or return, that the usability of the products is maintained and they do not become waste ”.

Circumventing the law?

The research also revealed that Amazon wanted to circumvent the law by simply destroying the intact returned goods themselves before they were disposed of. A test run has already taken place in which textiles were cut with scissors. “Amazon was already planning to undermine a law before the Environment Department even managed to apply it! Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has to act, because resource conservation is climate protection! ”, Said Wohlgemuth. "Destroying new goods must become a criminal offense during this legislative period!"

Reaction: Remaining stock dealers want to buy the goods from Amazon

In response to the destruction, a residual stock dealer from Nuremberg offered Amazon to take over the overhangs. "We would like to buy Amazon's remaining stock and also the remaining stock from FBA dealers and thus save them from being disposed of," says Konstantinos Vasiadis, Managing Director of Elvinci.de GmbH from Nuremberg. “We have the infrastructure and the possibilities to process these quantities and pass them on to our customers, where they can be sold,” continues Vasiadis. Elvinci specializes in buying overstock, remaining stock and B-goods and conveying them to retailers across Europe via an AI-supported platform. So far, however, it has not been possible to find a contact at Amazon.

The news magazine Panorama reported on the case using material from Greenpeace.

Photo: Greenpeace