July 15, 2020

More Canadians Are Relying On Amazon Due To COVID-19. It’s Time For Online Retailers To Reduce Plastic Packaging, Say Advocates

News Source: The Star

Author(s): Wanyee Li

Online shopping during a pandemic is the new normal for many Canadians, and with that comes piles of plastic packaging.

COVID-19 has pushed one in two Amazon customers in Canada to shop online even more than they did before the pandemic, but half of those buying more are “bothered by all the extra plastic packaging they are now receiving,” according to a new poll commissioned by Oceana, the world’s largest ocean-conservation organization.

It’s just one example of the many ways the pandemic has slowed progress on environmental issues, according to advocates.

“As we all discover online shopping and how easy it can be, that’s a behaviour that is likely to stay, so getting on top of plastic packaging in the online world is really important now and for the future,” said Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada.

Oceana hired polling company Abacus Data to conduct the survey of 1,800 Canadian adults from June 2 to 6. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Eight in ten Amazon customers that participated in the survey said they would select a plastic-free choice or similar alternative packaging if Amazon offered it. Additionally, 89 per cent said they believe major online retailers like Amazon should limit the amount of plastic packaging they ship out.

“We know that almost 90 per cent of Canadians want to do something about plastics,” said Laughren. “But it’s very hard to do that, right now. Plastics are thrust upon you. If you shop online, you’re getting plastic packaging.”

Oceana is calling on Amazon and other online retailers to cut the amount of plastic used in shipping packages to customers. “Industry created this problem, and they need to be responsible for helping solve it,” said Laughren.