More than half (52%) of online shoppers in Australia indicated they would be happy for items they order to arrive without added delivery packaging because they think it’s better for the planet, according to a study commissioned by Amazon.  

The findings come as an increasing number of essential items – such as nappies, toilet rolls and pallets of drinks – are being delivered to Australian shoppers without additional delivery packaging from Amazon. 

No added packaging means shipments are lighter, which can lead to reduced carbon emissions per package, and means customers don’t need to recycle an additional Amazon cardboard box or bag. Globally since 2015, Amazon has reduced the weight of outbound packaging per shipment by 41% on average and eliminated over two million tonnes of packaging material. 

Amazon Australia country manager, Janet Menzies said, “Like us, our customers care about reducing packaging, and we’ve made significant progress doing so for years. One way we do this is by working with manufacturers to design packaging that’s capable of shipping safely, without additional paper bags, envelopes or boxes from us.

“We’ve already achieved a lot, shipping more than triple the number of orders to customers with no added delivery packaging in Australia since 2021. We are working to ship even more deliveries the same way. Ultimately, the most sustainable form of packaging is no packaging at all.” 

Customers don’t need to ‘opt-in’ to receive their purchases with no added packaging. If an item is eligible, a message appears during check-out explaining that the product will arrive in packaging that ‘reveals what’s inside’. 

“We know there are times when customers prefer that we add packaging to their order. For example, an item intended to be a gift for another family member in their household. That’s why in many cases we offer customers the option to have their item gift wrapped or sent in an Amazon box, even though the item is capable of shipping without additional packaging,” Menzies added.

Customers wishing to conceal their orders can use a drop-down menu – available for many items certified to ship without added delivery packaging – and click on ‘Hide what’s inside, dispatch in Amazon packaging’.                

Products selected to be shipped without added delivery packaging have passed rigorous drop tests, ensuring they can reach customers safely and securely in their original product packaging – a reassuring fact for two thirds (67%) of those surveyed, who said their main concern about deliveries without additional outer packaging is potential damage.  

Where packaging is necessary, Amazon uses machine learning algorithms to help make smart packaging choices for customers, so the packaging fits well, uses as little material as possible, and protects customers’ orders. 

As well as reducing packaging, Amazon is co-founder of and first signatory to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. To date, the pledge has more than 400 signatories, across 56 industries and 38 countries. As part of its commitment, Amazon is on a path to reaching 100% renewable energy across its global operations by 2025.