Up close with Amazon’s new frozen food packaging, made from recyclable paper

Amazon’s new frozen food packaging is made from recycled paper and designed to be recycled in curbside bins. (Photo GeekWire/Todd Bishop)

It’s a tall order, of course, but in recent weeks I’ve ordered more than my share of ice cream bars and frozen pizzas in hopes of getting a taste of one of Amazon’s latest innovations.

Finally, it arrived at our doorstep: two sheets wrapped around Haagen-Dazs and Lemon Cream bars inside the grocery bag of our latest Amazon Fresh delivery.

The company’s new packaging for frozen and cold foods is made of a dozen layers of recyclable soft paper, very similar in thickness and consistency to a paper napkin you might grab in a cafeteria.

The layers are lightly taped together to create a blanket of insulation behind a thicker layer that looks more like the paper used in a grocery bag.

When we delivered, the two sheets were wrapped in different directions around the frozen items. The thicker coated layer of each sheet was positioned on the inside, against the ice cream, absorbing and helping to preserve the temperature. This layer of paper was visibly cold to the touch after taking it out of the bag.

The new packaging as it arrived inside the bag. (Photo GeekWire/Todd Bishop)

The paper is 12 inches wide and is perforated so it can be easily segmented. Here’s an interesting twist, though: the perforations are at roughly 11-inch and 6.5-inch intervals, according to my measurements. Presumably, variable intervals provide more options for different lengths, for better efficiency and less waste.

Amazon announced the new packaging in November for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods grocery deliveries, after extensive testing and experimentation with different approaches. Designed to replace plastic liners and bubble bags, it’s made from recycled paper and the company says it can be recycled in curbside bins.

The company says the new packaging is now in use with deliveries nationwide.

It’s part of Amazon’s climate commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. It’s also part of a broader effort by the company to shift to recyclable packaging.

To answer the most important question: yes, our items were still frozen even after sitting on our porch for almost an hour. Of course, that was Seattle in January. The real test will come in warmer temperatures and hotter climates this summer. But so far, at least, Amazon’s new packaging has passed the test, in my experience.

We’ll probably have to keep ordering lots of ice cream bars, just to be sure.


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