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4 Steps to Avoid the Dreaded #AmazonPackagingFail

Let’s be real. If you’ve ever ordered anything on Amazon you’ve likely experienced the infamous #AmazonPackagingFail, even if you didn’t know it was “a thing”. 

As usual, you ordered a single, small item using your Amazon Prime 2-Day Shipping option, or Prime Now.  Lo and behold! A box many times larger than necessary arrives at your doorstep filled with paper, or worse it’s filled with those green printed air-pillows that are bound for the trash.  Floating around somewhere in all of that extra space or filler is your solitary item hiding among all of that copious packaging.  #AmazonPackagingFail…big time!

Here are some simple steps to help

avoid the Amazon Packaging Fail

1.  Tell Amazon you want Zero Plastic Packaging

You can reach out to Amazon’s Customer Service and let them know that you want them to avoid excessive packaging and eliminate the plastic packing pillows from your orders.

Use this form to quickly send an email, with the quoted message below to Amazon. Or write to Amazon at to send them a message! 

Hi there,

I’m writing to see if you can make a note in the account associated with the name and email address above that says I would like to receive orders with minimal brown paper packaging (zero plastic or Styrofoam) whenever possible. I love the ease and speed of using Amazon but have been disappointed by how much unnecessary plastic packaging it can come with at times.


Ultimately it’s up to them to abide by your request, but this can help reduce the amount of packaging they use for your orders and it sends a message to Amazon that you’re part of a growing community of conscious consumers that are paying attention to Amazon’s shipping practices.

2. Use the “Fewest Possible Packages” Option at Checkout

You wont always see the option to get “FREE Delivery in fewest possible packages,” but if you are given the option, take it!  By combining your items into one delivery you are saving packaging, and transportation energy costs in the process.  A win-win if you can just wait an extra day or two for your order.

3.  Go with No Rush Shipping for the Smallest Carbon Footprint

If you can wait a little longer (actually what used to be considered a normal length of time) for your package to be delivered you will cut down considerably on the amount of transportation energy required to get your precious Amazon items.  No airplanes speeding up your delivery, means less fuel…less fuel means less carbon!  Simple!  Good!

4. What to Do with your Amazon Box and the Green Air-Pillows, If You Do Get Them…

So you’ve done everything above, you’re amazing, you’re feeling great, but every time you order from Amazon you still get the oversize box, and occasionally you get the obnoxious Green Air-Pillows.

As to the Amazon Box, we recommend that you use it to donate unwanted items to charity through the Give Back Box Program.  They make it easy to send donated items to a charity of your choice using your Amazon boxes.  It feels great, promotes the reuse of unwanted items, gives an extra stage to the lifecycle of your Amazon box, and they guarantee to recycle the box when they have no more use for it!  Voila!  Thank you, Amazon Box!

Give back box program

When it comes to the Green Air-Pillows, they can be dealt with in a couple of ways.  The first thing you can do is use this website HERE to find your local thin-film plastic recycling drop-off. 

The other thing you can do is deflate the Air-Pillows, save them up and ship them back to Sealed Air Corp (in an Amazon box, of course), so that they can recycle them back into LDPE Air-Pillows — Closing The Loop!  Below are the addresses for the US recycling center and the EU Center:

US Recycling Center

Ameri-Pak, Inc.
Sealed Air Recycle Center
477 South Woods Dr.
Fountain Inn, South Carolina 29644
Tel: +1-800-982-6197

EU Recycling Center

Sealed Air B.V
Lindenhoutseweg 45
6545 AH Nijmegen
Tel: +31-24-3710111

If you follow the above steps, you will greatly increase your chances of reducing your Amazon Packaging Waste.  Shopping on Amazon may not be the pinnacle of your 100% Zero Waste Lifestyle, but it’s these types of incremental reductions, when scaled up by the sheer number of Amazon purchases, that lead to massive overall reductions in single-use waste.  Remember —

Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good!

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