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Amazon will stop using those little plastic pillows in its packaging

New York CNN  —  Amazon is eliminating the use of the puffy plastic air pillows used in delivery boxes, joining other major companies that are cutting their plastic use. The company said it was shipping 15 billion plastic pillows annually, and the changes represent its largest plastic packaging reduction effort in North America. Amazon has already stopped using them in 95% of deliveries and they will stop completely by the end of the year. A new paper filler made from 100% recycled content will replace the plastic pillows. Amazon says it offers the same, if not better, protection to products. The announcement comes ahead of Prime Day, the shopping spectacular held in July, which Amazon said that nearly all of its Prime Day deliveries will be free of plastic air pillows. Amazon has stopped using plastic pillows in other countries, including Australia, India and nations across Europe, in recent years, which resulted the company in using nearly 12% less plastic in 2023 compared to the year prior. Pollution from single-use plastic remains a major problem, with a recent report finding that companies are producing record amounts despite efforts to be more sustainable. Plastic is problematic because it’s mostly made from polymers created from dangerous fossil fuels. Oceana, an advocacy group that has long criticized Amazon’s plastic use, said the change was a “significant step forward,” but the company “needs to build on this momentum and fulfill its multiyear commitment to transition its North America fulfillment centers away from plastic.” “Then, the company should expand these efforts and also push innovations like reusable packaging to move away from single-use packaging everywhere it sells and ships,” Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s senior vp of Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement.