Why it matters: Amazon has announced that unsold or unwanted products from third-party sellers will no longer simply be destroyed; instead, the company has announced a new program that will see these goods donated to good causes.
The Fulfillment by Amazon Donations program is aimed at third-party sellers who store their items in Amazon’s US and UK warehouses. CNBC reports that from September 1, the program will become the default option for goods selected for disposal, though it will be possible to opt-out.
CBS News reported that one Amazon facility sent 293,000 items to a local dump during a nine-month period, while French TV Chanel M6 recently revealed that Amazon destroys 3 million products per year in that country alone.
For third-party sellers, destroying returned, unsold, or defective goods is cheaper (15 cents per item) than requesting Amazon returning them to the merchants (50 cents per item). While those fees will remain the same, products will be donated rather than destroyed.
The donations will be distributed to non-profits in the US through Good360. In the UK, they will go to charities including Newlife, Salvation Army, and Barnado’s.
“We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities,” Alice Shobe, the director of the company’s charitable giving arm called Amazon in the Community, said in a statement. “We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfillment services.”
In addition to helping those in need, the program will cut down on waste production by reducing the number of items sent to landfill sites.