Amazon Switching Out Wrapping Paper For Reusable Cloth Bags

Image courtesy of Amazon

When you hear that your online purchase will be “gift wrapped,” what do you picture? Most people would picture a package wrapped up in paper, maybe with a bow, right? That’s not what Amazon customers are getting in their boxes this holiday season: for the same price, shoppers are getting velvet gift bags of various sizes.

The bags solve two key gift-wrapping problems for the unfathomably large e-commerce company: they’re re-usable multiple times, and they’re also a lot faster than having someone wrap the gifts the old-fashioned way.

While we wouldn’t put it past Amazon to develop a gift-wrapping robot, the company is emphasizing the eco-friendly aspects of the change. “Our guiding North Star is the minimization of packaging,” the company’s director of worldwide sustainability and social responsibility explained to Fortune magazine. “Wrapping paper has no value.”

Speaking of value, the velvet bags do end up costing Amazon less than the traditional wrapping paper, which is a nice side benefit to the change. The company’s frustration-free packaging and attempts to banish the Stupid Shipping gang can be wrapped in a cloak of eco-friendliness, but they’re also about saving money and creating smaller packages to load on planes and trucks. Sometimes, Amazon’s planes and trucks.

Why Amazon Is Cutting Wrapping Paper This Holiday Season [Fortune]