Amazon and U.S. Department of Energy work to cut plastic waste

Amazon have announced that together with the BOTTLE consortium they will focus on reducing plastic waste through innovation in materials and recycling.

The BOTTLE consortium, a research initiative under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), launched in October 2020 has a very important and equally as interesting mission. They want to create technology that will break down materials to create a new, innovative type of material that could then be broken down more easily when recycled—and even biodegrade in natural environments.

BOTTLE stands for “Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” The consortium, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was created to spur innovation and advance new technologies to address plastic waste and pollution by bringing together cutting edge talent and capabilities from both the public and private sectors.

Plastics are extremely versatile materials, and often they are still the best option available for a myriad of functions, Finding a way to better recycle single-use plastics while reducing and ultimately eliminating their use is a grand challenge of our time, and we’re committed to pursuing scientific advancement to this end. With Amazon’s innovation expertise, we’re excited to work together to find solutions that have the potential to have vast, positive impacts.

– Gregg Beckham, BOTTLE’s CEO and a senior research fellow, NREL.

This research is another step in Amazon’s efforts to eliminate or reduce packaging waste. As of 2021, Amazon had reduced the outbound weight of packaging per shipment by 36%, a total of one million tonnes, while increasing the use of recyclable materials.

In partnership with BOTTLE, we plan to make significant progress in developing new technologies and materials that will lead to less material in landfills and more back into the circular economy, Science and innovation are at the heart of our sustainability work at Amazon, and we’re committed to using our size and scale to reduce and eliminate our use of materials and find new ones that can be applied to our operations and other industries around the world.

– Alan Jacobsen, principal materials scientist at Amazon
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