New Eco-Friendly Amazon Boxes Can Be Turned Into Pet Houses And Robot Costumes

by : Cameron Frew on : 23 Jul 2020 13:48
New Eco-Friendly Amazon Boxes Can Be Turned Into Pet Houses And Robot CostumesAmazon/Pixino

Pet houses, robots, cars: Amazon is thinking inside the box with their new cardboard packaging. 

Playing with big boxes isn’t exactly a groundbreaking notion. It’s a well-known fact that cats love playing in them, and kids all across the world have long used them to build mighty forts.


Some companies have twisted this tradition on its head, such as the Nintendo Labo’s use of cardboard as a peripheral for Switch games. However, the online giant’s latest move is simple: if you’re going to recycle, it can be both practical and fun.

Amazon BoxesAmazon

Starting this week, Amazon is shipping items in ‘more environmentally friendly’ boxes that come packed with a ‘built-in play factor’. This isn’t something tangible that comes as an added bonus – you’ll need to use your hands and imagination, whether it be creating a robot costume, rocket, car, mini-golf windmill or a cosy home for your pet.

In a statement issued to USA Today, the e-commerce behemoth wrote: 


We know customers love to get creative and reuse their Amazon packaging in a number of ways – this inspired us to create these new packaging designs that give customers an easy way to learn how we’re making our packaging better.

It’s all part of Amazon’s new ‘Less Packaging, More Smiles’ initiative, with packages now including a call to action to recycle wherever possible. Don’t worry if you’re not the crafty type though, each box will come with a QR code that will direct you to a handy page with instructions on how to build plenty of fun things.

According to Kim Houchens, Amazon’s director of customer packaging experience, the company has drastically reduced its packaging waste since 2008. As well as reducing weight by 33%, more than 880,000 tons of packaging material has been chopped, equating to around 1.5 billion shipping boxes.


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Houchens explained: ‘Inventing and innovating in new types of packaging is one of the many actions we are taking as part of The Climate Pledge – our commitment to become net-zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.’

The American Forest and Paper Association also reported 92% of cardboard boxes had been recycled. Last year, Amazon developed a fully-recyclable paper mailer, 190 million of which have been shipped to US customers since.

Let’s not pretend Amazon has completely changed the game with regards to leftover packaging. People and pets have been playing with boxes long before this new initiative. However, any step towards helping the environment should be commended. Time to build a fort.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, Amazon, Cats, Environment, Now, Pets, recycling


USA Today and 1 other
  1. USA Today

    Amazon introduces boxes that can be recycled into cat condos, forts and other creations

  2. Amazon

    Less packaging, more smiles: How to build this box fort