Your next Amazon box might look a little different.
It’s no secret that kids – and cats – like to play with cardboard boxes, sometimes more than with what’s inside.
Now, Amazon is introducing new boxes with a built-in play factor.
Starting this week, some Amazon orders will start to be delivered in “more environmentally-friendly” boxes that can be turned into a rocket, car or fort for your pet, a robot costume or a mini-golf windmill, the Seattle-based retail giant shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
The new boxes are part of Amazon’s ongoing “Less Packaging, More Smiles” program and include a call to action to recycle the boxes and a QR code that directs consumers to Amazon.com/ThisBox for how to make the cardboard creations.
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“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,” the company said in a statement.
Kim Houchens, Amazon’s director of customer packaging experience, said the company has been making progress on reducing packaging waste since 2008.
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“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,” Houchens said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Over the years, Amazon has reduced the weight of its packaging by 33% and eliminated over 880,000 tons of packaging material, which is equivalent to about 1.5 billion shipping boxes, Houchens said.
According to the American Forest & Paper Association, 92% of cardboard boxes, also known as corrugated containers, were recycled.
Last year, Amazon released a new fully recyclable paper padded mailer, and since the launch, more than 190 million of the new mailers have been shipped to U.S. customers.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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