More than half (52%) of online shoppers in Australia would be happy for items they order to arrive without added delivery packaging because they think it’s better for the planet, according to a new study* commissioned by Amazon.

The findings come as Amazon is delivering an increasing number of essential items—such as nappies, toilet rolls and cases of drinks—to Australian shoppers without additional packaging such as a box or a paper bag.

No added packaging means shipments are lighter, which can lead to reduced C02 emissions per package, and customers don’t need to recycle the boxes or bags. Globally since 2015, Amazon has reduced the weight of outbound packaging per shipment by 41% on average and eliminated over 2 million tons of packaging material.

Amazon’s ‘Ships in Product Packaging’ program allows for lighter, more sustainable shipments, and is easy to take part in.

Among the items people said they are happiest to receive in the manufacturer’s original packaging—with just an address label added—are pet foods, gardening products, toilet rolls and canned foods.

Meanwhile, condoms, haemorrhoid cream and bikini wax strips, which Amazon already ships discreetly, are among the items customers would be least happy to receive without added delivery packaging, along with some high-value items, which are excluded from the reduced packaging programme.

The research also found that 10% of Australian shoppers would be happy to have everything they order online come without added delivery packaging.

“Like us, our customers really care about reducing packaging, and we’ve made significant progress doing so for years,” said Janet Menzies, Amazon Australia’s country manager.

“One way we do this is by working with manufacturers to design packaging that’s capable of shipping safely, without additional paper bags, envelopes or boxes from us. We’ve already achieved a lot, shipping more than triple the number of orders to customers with no added delivery packaging in Australia since 2021. We are working to ship even more deliveries the same way.

“Ultimately, the most sustainable form of packaging is no packaging at all.”

Safe and secure deliveries

Products selected to be shipped without added delivery packaging have passed rigorous drop tests, ensuring they can reach customers safely and securely in their original product packaging – a reassuring fact for two-thirds (67%) of those surveyed, who said their main concern about deliveries without additional outer packaging is potential damage.

Forty per cent of those surveyed said knowing that they can get a refund or replacement for missing items gives them the confidence to receive their online orders this way.

As for nosey neighbours, this isn’t an issue for Australian shoppers. In fact, almost six in 10 (58%) trust their neighbours to take care of their deliveries if they aren’t there to receive them.

Learn more about how you can play your part in helping to reduce packaging waste here, and find out how Amazon is reducing packaging here.

Alongside our efforts to reduce packaging, Amazon is the co-founder of and first signatory to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. To date, the pledge has more than 400 signatories, across 56 industries and 38 countries. As part of our commitment, we are on a path to reaching 100% renewable energy across our global operations by 2025.

*Online survey of 2,000 Australian adults who shop online at least every few months, commissioned by Amazon and conducted by market research company OnePoll in accordance with the Market Research Society's code of conduct. Data was collected between 25/09/23 and 04/10/23. All participants are double-opted in to take part in research and are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team. OnePoll are MRS Company Partners, corporate membership of ESOMAR and Members of the British Polling Council.