A new investigation shows an Amazon warehouse destroying millions of unsold products each year

Here's a great Prime Day Deal on Manufactured Scarcity from an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland, as reported by ITV:

An ex-employee, who asked for anonymity, told us: "From a Friday to a Friday our target was to generally destroy 130,000 items a week. "I used to gasp. There's no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed: Dyson fans, Hoovers, the occasional MacBook and iPad; the other day, 20,000 Covid (face) masks still in their wrappers.

In one week in April, a leaked document from inside the Dunfermline warehouse showed more than 124,000 items marked 'destroy'. To repeat, that's just for seven days. In contrast, just 28,000 items in the same period were labelled 'donate'. 

The same manager admitted to us that in some weeks, as many as 200,000 items could be marked 'destroy'.

As ITV points out, this practice, though wasteful, is hardly illegal; in fact, it's more than likely driven by business needs. Amazon sellers often store their products at Amazon warehouse, which they can be shipped more easily. If something isn't selling, then it's just taking up valuable space that could be better used for other products that people actually want.

In response to the ITV investigation, Amazon said:

We are working towards a goal of zero product disposal and our priority is to resell, donate to charitable organisations or recycle any unsold products. No items are sent to landfill in the UK. As a last resort, we will send items to energy recovery, but we're working hard to drive the number of times this happens down to zero.

Amazon destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, ITV News investigation finds [Richard Pallot / ITV]

Image: ActuaLitté / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)