'It happens, trust me': Second Amazon whistleblower claims 'brand new' goods being 'binned' across multiple sites
Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot
Another whistleblower has come forward alleging Amazon dumps thousands of unsold items, one day after ITV News revealed the scale of the retail giant's waste.
Unsold items, most being perfectly useable, have been marked out for destruction, which has compelled the government to speak to Amazon directly.
It has also drawn the attention of environmental activist Greta Thunberg and Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicly expressed his concern.
Speaking anonymously, a former Amazon employee at a Hertfordshire centre said the issue is widespread in the company.
"Lots of things from brand new iPhones to PlayStations, we got rid of brand new books," he told ITV News.
"You felt like you just wanted to say to them 'look, this should be going to people that need it not going into a bin.'"
Asked if he believes unsold items are dumped across other centres, he said: "In every single facility it happens, trust me, it does.
"I worked in one specific facility, but I knew other people who worked in others and they said exactly the same thing."
Chelaine Young, a mother from south London, was in desperate need of a laptop to home-school her children.
"I think it’s absolutely disgusting, in lockdown we’ve obviously had to do remote learning," she told ITV News.
"Amazon throwing away so many electronic devices that could go towards different families, social care homes and it could help so many other families rather than just throwing it away and just disregarding it, it’s terrible."
For months, her children had lessons via her phone. Damian Griffiths from Catbytes, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes digital learning in south London communities, said it is a "complete waste".
Undercover filming from inside Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse reveals the sheer scale of waste, which includes Smart TVs, laptops, books and thousands of sealed face masks – all sorted into boxes marked “destroy”.
Greenpeace's Sam Chetan Welsh described it as "an unimaginable amount of unnecessary waste".
He added: "As long as Amazon’s business model relies on this kind of disposal culture, things are only going to get worse. The government must step in and bring in legislation immediately.”
Amazon, which is not doing anything illegal in destroying unsold items, said: "Amazon makes every attempt to resell or donate laptops to good causes.
"There are many reasons laptops cannot be resold or donated, for example, if they are damaged in any way, are possible safety hazards or are returned containing personal information."
'It is a scandal': Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee Philip Dunne says Amazon must address the issue
Amazon says its policy is that all electronic products that cannot be sold or donated are sent for recycling, not for energy recovery.Philip Dunne, who is the chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, slammed Amazon over its "scandal".
He told ITV News: "Amazon appeared before the Environmental Audit Select Committee last year and proclaimed their sustainability credentials.
"What your report uncovers is a truly astonishing degree of waste of resources. And if true, it is a scandal that Amazon have got to address."
The ex-Amazon worker who helped expose the millions of items of unwanted stock being destroyed in the UK by online giant
He added: "What this reveals, if true, is that this global online giant is consuming resources on this planet in a completely unsustainable way.
"Of course, some products get returned and need to be dealt with but to have pristine product in its packaging, never sold to consumers and then destroyed either to incineration or potentially to landfill is a completely outrageous, despoilation of the planet.
"Quite frankly, Mr Bezos should spend less time daydreaming about going into space and more time sorting out the environmental damage his company is doing to the planet."
Amazon said: "We do not send a single item to landfill in the UK. Every year we donate millions of products to charities across the country. We’ve got more work to do but our goal is to get to zero product disposal.“