Last month, on the eve of Amazon’s own Prime Day shopping event, ITV dropped a big bomb – smoking-gun evidence of the online retailer’s long-time practice of destroying returned products or those that don’t sell fast enough.
This story went viral, with the whistle-blower’s video footage from the warehouse, their personal testimony on camera, and the hard data, revealing the shocking extent of the waste. There were 124,000 items marked for destruction in one week alone, in one Scottish warehouse, including computers, tablets and mobiles.
Greta Thunberg rightly commented: “This is just ONE warehouse. If you have a system where this [is] possible – and even profitable – that’s a clear sign that something is fundamentally wrong.”
The outrage was such that even the Prime Minister was forced to comment on the story. He blamed a “consumerist society”. The fact is, it’s our consumerist economy that is to blame.
And the government sets the rules of the game in our economy, through tax and regulation.
Amazon’s practices are not “bizarre” as Boris Johnson claims, they are a feature of the economy years of government policy created. Amazon’s practices are legal, and they have been open secrets for years. Investigations by French documentarists and the Daily Mail revealed these practices years ago. France even legislated against Amazon’s dumping. Europe is said to be looking into a similar ban.