A new survey shows that Amazon destroys millions of unsold items every year, including high-end electronics, books, and now even masks. Video collected by ITV UK from one of Amazon’s 24 fulfillment centers in the UK shows unsold items in boxes marked “destroy”. Not only that, but the sheer amount of this waste has also drawn people’s attention to why these items—some of which have never been used—cannot be distributed to charities or people in need. According to ITV News, the reason these products were destroyed on such a large scale was the business model of the e-commerce giant.
Many suppliers store their products in Amazon’s huge warehouses, but once they have not been sold for a long time, processing them is cheaper than continuing to pay for storage. To better understand the scale of the problem at hand, a former Amazon employee told ITV that their goal is to destroy 130,000 items every week from Friday to Friday.
“I used to catch my breath. There was no rhythm or reason for what was destroyed-Dyson fans, Hoover, the occasional MacBook and iPad. A few days ago, 20,000 COVID [face] The mask is still in its packaging,” the former employee told ITV.
Although the product to be scrapped is marked with the word “destroy”, the box of the product to be donated is written “donate”. The gap between the two is huge. The same employee stated that although the number of products to be destroyed was about 130,000, the number of products donated during the same period was only 28,000.
At the same time, in the United States, a few miles away, Amazon in New York has another thing. Amazon warehouse worker Natalie Monarrez lives on her SUV. She works in Amazon’s large warehouse in Staten Island and has been homeless since 2019. She is a member of a nearby gym, where she bathes and brushes her teeth.
Despite her hard work, Natalie still failed to find an affordable house for herself—neither a shared rent nor a studio. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her situation became very difficult.
“When the business is closed, it is difficult to find the bathroom,” Vice quoted her as saying. “I ended up having to use antibacterial wipes and do my best in my car.”
Amazon often talks about the starting salary of its warehouse workers-15 US dollars (about 1,110 rupees) per hour, up to 18.25 US dollars (about 1,360 rupees) in the warehouse where Natalie works. However, it is clear that salaries are not enough to allow some workers to afford and use appropriate housing facilities, especially in cities such as New York. Natalie further stated that although Bezos donated money to the homeless shelter for tax cuts and public relations, he also needs to know that some of his workers-without family members or a second income-cannot afford to pay. rent.
Many other workers in the city who have spoken to Vice previously stated that they either live with their parents or extended family, or work in second and third jobs. In addition, some people commute for three hours from the Bronx and Queens to work.