A report has shown the wastage of new and expensive items at an Amazon warehouse.
A report has shown the wastage of new and expensive items at an Amazon warehouse.

Shocking vision shows wastage at Amazon

Amazon dumps and destroys millions of brand-new products it can't sell in landfill sites, a shocking investigation has revealed.

Many goods are still in pristine packaging when they are chucked away or taken to a "destruction zone" to be incinerated.

An Amazon worker sorting items in the ‘destruction zone’ of a warehouse. Picture: RTL.FR
An Amazon worker sorting items in the ‘destruction zone’ of a warehouse. Picture: RTL.FR
Nappies were among the haul of items filmed as they headed to incinerators and landfill sites. Picture: RTL.FR
Nappies were among the haul of items filmed as they headed to incinerators and landfill sites. Picture: RTL.FR

Undercover investigators secretly filmed the waste in one of the online retail giant's enormous warehouses in France, and the practice is reportedly followed in the UK.

Reporters disguised as Amazon workers covertly recorded staff hauling truckloads of unused kitchen equipment, flat-screen televisions and other goods into skips to be sent to dumps.

Cameras fitted to a drone also followed an Amazon truck filled with expensive items as it drove from a warehouse to a landfill site.

The French investigation first revealed the scale of the product dumping.

Unsold, often pristine items are sent to so-called ‘destruction zones’. Picture: RTL.FR
Unsold, often pristine items are sent to so-called ‘destruction zones’. Picture: RTL.FR

When asked about the destruction of unsold items, a warehouse manager in the Midlands told an undercover Mail on Sunday reporter: "Some are returned, but most are destroyed."

Amazon refused to respond directly to questions about dumping in the UK.

A spokesman told The Sun Online: "For unsold products, we partner with a number of charities including In Kind Direct, which works with non-profit organisations to distribute goods to charities across the UK.

"If products cannot be sold to Amazon customers, we work with liquidators who use the goods for other purposes.

A worker loads expensive, unused items into bins. Picture: RTL.FR
A worker loads expensive, unused items into bins. Picture: RTL.FR

"Products that are returned by customers can be resold in most cases. They undergo rigorous inspection process, are repackaged and - if possible - offered again."

In the documentary, Amazon bosses told how companies are charged £22 ($A41) for a metre of space to store their products in warehouses.

But after six months the cost rockets to £430 ($A800) and soars again to £860 ($A1600) after a year.

Chinese businessman Zhongwang Zhend, who owns a stationary company, told documentary makers Amazon in France had destroyed hundreds of his unsold goods.

He told the Mail: "Amazon UK sells our products. The UK is our main storage centre, but Amazon has destroyed our products here.

One of the items caught on camera was a popcorn machine worth €36 ($A58). Picture: RTL.FR
One of the items caught on camera was a popcorn machine worth €36 ($A58). Picture: RTL.FR

 

Another product was a Lego Harry Potter set worth a hefty €128 ($A206). Picture: RTL.FR
Another product was a Lego Harry Potter set worth a hefty €128 ($A206). Picture: RTL.FR

"After around six months or a year, if the goods are not sold Amazon will start charging storage fees.

"But the charges are very high, so Amazon either throws the goods away or ships them back to China."

The Sun Online has approached Amazon for further comment.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission