We need to have a difficult conversation about online shopping and the environment

There is one really clear message, which is that buying something you are not sure about and returning it is an environmental disaster, writes Hamish McRae

Tuesday 22 June 2021 21:30
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<p>This is business – and there is nothing wrong with that</p>

This is business – and there is nothing wrong with that

Should you be hitting the screen for day two of Amazon Prime Day, there’s plenty of stuff still to go. The newspapers are heaving in there, with The Independent running a live tally of the best discounts on offer. If you want to get 55 per cent off a Braun beard trimmer, you know where to go.

This is business – and there is nothing wrong with that. As we acknowledge, we may earn commission from the links, but we pick the items and the revenues help fund our journalism. And whatever you think of Amazon as a company, its service is stunningly swift and successful.

But what about the environment? We have all had the experience of a large cardboard box arriving at the door, which when you open it reveals a small item crouching in the corner surrounded by reams of brown paper packaging. As a result of the pandemic, UK online sales rose from 20 per cent of total retail sales in January 2020 to a peak of 36 per cent this January.

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