BOSTON -- In yet another example of the growing public outcry about unnecessary plastic waste, 48.9% of Amazon shareholders voted for a resolution calling on the company to limit its single-use plastic packaging, despite Amazon’s board of directors’ recommendation to “vote no.”
“The plastic that Amazon and other e-retailers wrap around our online deliveries for a few days becomes waste that litters our landscape for decades,” said Kelsey Lamp, the director of Environment America’s Protect Our Oceans campaign. “It’s clear that more and more, shareholders are voting to stem the flow of a mounting plastic crisis flooding our oceans and waterways. I hope this vote spurs Amazon leadership to take action.”
The vote comes amid growing calls for Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods to take action on plastic waste. Environment America and U.S. PIRG have led an effort to get Whole Foods to reduce single-use plastic in its stores. The groups have gathered more than 60,000 petition signatures, and organized environmental groups and lawmakers alike to call for Amazon’s grocery chain to improve its plastic policies.
“With this vote, a large number of Amazon shareholders are emphasizing a basic, important fact: We can’t keep making and distributing disposable stuff that ends up clogging our landfills and littering our communities,” said Matt Casale, the director of PIRG’s environment campaigns. “We hope that Amazon’s leadership listens to its shareholders and leads the way toward a zero waste future.”
A similar shareholder proposal received 35% of the shareholder vote in 2021, so this year’s vote showed a marked increase in Amazon shareholders’ appetite for pushing the company to reduce plastic.