Amazon commits millions to recycling efforts

Amazon invests in Closed Loop funds to increase recycling rates across the country.

Amazon is not only hoping to be a retail leader, but new efforts are showing that the e-commerce giant is hoping to become the most environmentally friendly company as well.

The company announced  that it will invest $10 million in Closed Loop Fund to support recycling infrastructure in the United States. Amazon’s investment will increase the availability of curbside recycling for 3 million homes in communities across the country, making it easier for customers to recycle and further develop end markets for recycled commodities.

Related: Giant Food store is now zero waste

The investment will divert 1 million tons of recyclable material from landfill into the recycling stream and eliminate the equivalent of 2 million metric tons of CO2 by 2028—equivalent to shutting down a coal-fired power plant for six months.

“This investment will help build the local capabilities needed to make it easier for our customers and their communities to recycle and to increase the amount of material recycled across the country,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. “We are investing in Closed Loop Fund’s work because we think everyone should have access to easy, convenient curbside recycling. The more we are all able to recycle, the more we can reduce our collective energy, carbon, and water footprint.”

This initiative adds to Amazon’s waste reduction efforts, including its Frustration-Free Packaging program that has eliminated over 500 million boxes and more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials over the last 10 years.

Related: Coca-Cola vows to recycle 100% of its packaging by 2030

Other major companies, such as Coca-Cola and Giant Food stores have also made moves towards providing a more environmentally friendly means of packaging and transportation efforts. As part of its sustainable retailer commitment, Giant Foods announced that it's Cleona, Penn., store located at 481 West Penn Ave., is the first in the chain to reach zero waste. A recognized definition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, zero waste means 90 percent or more of a store’s total waste is being diverted from a landfill or incineration.

According to Amazon, solving customers’ needs for recycling can create economic benefits in the cities and towns where they live. Increasing the amount of recycled materials available can also lead to a lower cost of goods sold, and lessen the impacts of transportation, as there is no need to ship waste to landfills. Cities also directly benefit through increased cash flow and jobs, as most recycling is done locally.

“Amazon's investment in Closed Loop Fund is another example of how recycling is good business in America,” said Chief Executive Officer of Closed Loop Fund Ron Gonen. “Companies are seeing that they can meet consumer demand and reduce costs while supporting a more sustainable future and growing good jobs across the country. We applaud Amazon's commitment to cut waste, and we hope their leadership drives other brands and retailers to follow suit."