BUSINESS NEWS – Amazon quietly debuts new program for donating leftover products instead of destroying them

  • Amazon is launching a new program that allows third-party sellers to donate their excess and returned goods.
  • The company is partnering with charities and nonprofits in the United States and United Kingdom.
  • The launch comes after investigations found that Amazon destroys unsold products

Amazon is making a big push to help third-party sellers donate their unsold products instead of trashing them.

The online retail giant is launching a new program called Fulfillment by Amazon Donations, where eligible excess and returned products from sellers will be donated to nonprofits and charities in the United States and United Kingdom.

The donation program will kick off in September, and the donation option will automatically apply to inventory that sellers choose to dispose of manually, says an email that an Amazon seller appears to have recently received. CNBC earlier reported the program’s existence.

The launch comes after investigations from a French TV station and UK-based news outlet The Daily Mail found that Amazon destroys unsold items — even those that are worth hundreds of dollars. The French TV station, called M6, filmed a “destruction zone” where items are junked as part of a documentary.

In the US Amazon will be working with Good360, which partners with retailers and consumer goods companies to distribute products to nonprofit organizations. Amazon’s UK partners for the program include charities such as Newlife, Salvation Army, and Barnado’s.

The program is the latest effort by the Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth to make its delivery methods and processes less wasteful.

Earlier this year, the company set a goal to reach 50% of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by the year 2030, an initiative Amazon is calling “Shipment Zero.” It also works with manufacturer to help them design more sustainable packaging to cut down on waste throughout the supply chain.

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