Amazon is destroying millions of unsold items every year in one of its UK warehouses, according to an investigation by ITV News.
The damning footage shows an ITV undercover journalist observing the “destruction zone”, an area where millions of perfectly functional goods are destroyed in Amazon’s Dunfermline warehouse.
The video shows a shocking range of items being disposed of, including smart TV’s, drones, laptops, headphones, hairdryers and brand new books.
All the goods are sorted into boxes marked “destroy”.
“There’s no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed: Dyson fans, Hoovers, the occasional MacBook and iPad; the other day, 20,000 Covid (face) masks still in their wrappers,” an ex-employee told ITV News.
“Overall, 50 percent of all items are unopened and still in their shrink wrap. The other half are returns and in good condition. Staff have just become numb to what they are being asked to do.”
According to ITV News’ investigation, the Dunfermline warehouse has a target of around 130,000 items to destroy every week.
When questioned about the amount of unsold items the company throws away by ITV’s crew, Amazon’s UK boss John Boumphrey said the figure is “extremely small.”
However, the shocking footage revealed that on one manager’s spreadsheet, the number of perfectly good items marked to destroy was at 124,332, the number of items designated to be given to charity was at a measly 27,213 in comparison.
For third-party sellers, the longer items are sat in Amazon’s warehouses, the more they are charged by the tech giant.
This then means it becomes cheaper to dispose of them than to continue storing the stock.
Once the electrical goods are sorted into boxes, a lorry takes them to a waste management centre where they are then unloaded and destroyed.
Greenpeace’s Sam Chetan Welsh added: “It’s an unimaginable amount of unnecessary waste, and just shocking to see a multi-billion pound company getting rid of stock in this way.”