Two campaigners for better plastics reporting by Amazon carry yard signs.
Oceana campaigned for Amazon to provide more transparent reporting of its plastics use and also take measures to reduce it prior to the e-commerce company's recent shareholder meeting.

Groups call for Amazon to report on, reduce plastics use

As You Sow, Oceana, propose the company should report on its plastic use and take action to reduce plastic use.

Last week at Amazon’s annual meeting, 48 percent of the company’s shareholders voted in favor of a resolution asking the e-commerce giant to address its growing plastic packaging problem, falling just short of a majority.

As You Sow Senior Vice President Conrad MacKerron presented the resolution calling for Amazon to issue a report on its plastic packaging footprint and commit to reducing that footprint going forward. The proposal received the most support of any of the multiple resolutions considered at the meeting, with more than 181 million votes in its favor.

Oceana Senior Vice President Matt Littlejohn adds his voice to the nonprofit As You Sow, calling for Amazon to report publicly on its use of plastics in packaging, which, according to Oceana, increased 29 percent in a single year.

“Nearly half of Amazon shareholders have spoken up for the oceans, sending a clear message that it’s time for the company to address its contribution to the plastic pollution problem,” he says. “Sea turtles and other ocean animals often mistake plastic for food, which can ultimately prove fatal. Amazon is a data-driven company and has indicated to Oceana that it already measures its plastic use. It’s time for the company to be transparent about its plastic packaging and commit to quantifiable and time-bound companywide goals to reduce it.”

Ahead of the May 25 shareholders’ meeting, Oceana launched a campaign asking Amazon employees (who also are company shareholders) to support the resolution seeking transparency. The campaign included social media, canvassing, mobile billboards, 500 posters and 1,000 yard signs, as well as a letter to shareholders providing a rationale for the resolution.

Additionally, Oceana rallied support for the resolution from signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), some of whom are Amazon shareholders.