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An Amazon warehouse destroys hundreds of thousands of items every week

The warehouse destroyed 130,000 items per week, an ex-employee said.


Andrew Wyrich


Published Jun 22, 2021   Updated Jun 22, 2021, 11:26 am CDT

An Amazon warehouse in Scotland destroys more than one hundred thousand unsold items every week, a new report has found.

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ITV, a British news outlet, reports that an ex-employee of a warehouse in Dunfermline said there was target of destroying or throwing out 130,000 items per week. Over the course of a year, that would be millions of items being destroyed.

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The items, the ex-employee said, included COVID-19 facemasks, MacBooks, iPads, and more. Undercover footage published by ITV shows power tools, jewelry, and books being slated for destruction. The ex-employee noted that around half of the items were still in shrinkwrap or unopened packaging.

“There’s no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed,” the ex-employee, who remained anonymous, told the news outlet.

ITV says it tracked some of the items labeled for destruction to recycling centers and landfills.

The report from ITV comes amid Amazon’s Prime Day shopping event, which has spurred criticism from worker rights and anti-surveillance groups who called on U.S. lawmakers to crack down on the retail giant’s “punitive system of constant surveillance” for its workers.

A spokesperson for Amazon told Insider that the Dunfermline warehouse handles all of the items marked for destruction in the U.K. The spokesperson added that the landfill noted by ITV is also a recycling center.

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“We are working toward a goal of zero product disposal and our priority is to resell, donate to charitable organisations, or recycle any unsold products. No items are sent to landfill in the UK. As a last resort, we will send items to energy recovery, but we’re working hard to drive the number of times this happens down to zero,” the spokesperson said.

You can read all of the ITV report here.

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2021, 11:04 am CDT