What's so bad about Amazon's environmental footprint?

Amazon makes it easy and attractive for people to buy more things than they need. The increased emissions from delivery trucks and packaging is significant. Although Amazon takes steps to make their packaging more sustainable, they are not fully internalising the cost of the environmental damage and the waste processing that results from the way they ship products. They are making everybody pay by spoiling the environmental commons that we all share.

What's so bad about Amazon's employment policies?

Amazon contracts delivery companies to deliver packages. These contractors do not benefit from the normal protections that employment contracts with Amazon would afford them. They are strongly incentivised to cut costs and deliver as many packages as possible, at the expense of their own wellbeing. Amazon is a hugely profitable company, and Jeff Besoz is a billionaire. There is unquestionably money available to employ the drivers properly and afford them bathroom breaks.

What's so bad about Amazon's relationship to unionisation?

Amazon is working really hard to stop its employees from forming a union. Amazon claims to be a progressive employer, looking out for its employees rights, but the reports of working conditions in Amazon's warehouses tell a different story.

But Jeff is no longer the CEO - what does it have to do with him?

Creating a plugin with "Amazon" in its name has the potential to invite attention from Amazon's lawyers - we needed a different name, and Bezos is inextricably linked to the company in the minds of many people. Jeff Bezos may not longer be the CEO of Amazon, but he remains the chairman of the board, a significant shareholder, and a billionaire with power and influence.

Attacking large companies and billionaires is not the answer!

No, it's not. It's certainly not the whole answer. We need massive system change, we need a paradigm shift in the minds of billions of people. We need grassroots organising, we need political engagement and civil disobedience, we need changes in legislation, and we need good alternatives to the systems and companies that we criticise. But part of the answer is us making different choices and using our collective voice. We are all, including Jeff, participating in and reproducing a system that we didn't design and that doesn't serve us, and that's nobody's fault.

I use Amazon every week - does that make me bad?

No. Amazon may be the most affordable, most convenient way for you to get through life and we don't criticise that. It's not about where you are standing - it's about which direction you're walking. We need to start walking away from the systems and patterns that don't serve us, towards a future that is equitable and just for everyone.