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Does Kohl’s Recycle Amazon Packaging – What You Need To Do?

Over the past few years, the world has seen a remarkable surge in online shopping, with Amazon leading the pack. As we receive more Amazon packages, a significant concern has been: what happens to all that packaging?

One company that’s been stepping up in this regard is Kohl’s, a prominent department store chain.

TL;DR: Yes, Kohl’s does recycle Amazon packaging. It’s part of their Amazon Returns program where customers can drop off their Amazon returns at Kohl’s stores for free, and Kohl’s takes care of the rest, including the packaging. It’s an excellent way for consumers to engage in more sustainable practices.

How Kohl’s Recycles Amazon Packaging

As part of their partnership with Amazon, Kohl’s accepts Amazon returns at their stores, irrespective of the reason and whether the products are packed or unpacked. This might seem surprising, but it’s true. If you have an item to return, all you need is the QR code provided by Amazon and Kohl’s handles everything else. You don’t even have to box up the item.

After you drop off your return, Kohl’s employees package it using the leftover Amazon packaging. The packaging is then either reused for other returns or recycled if it’s no longer suitable for reuse. This initiative has significantly reduced packaging waste, making Kohl’s a key player in the fight against environmental degradation.

I recommend: If you’re planning to return an item purchased on Amazon, consider dropping it off at a nearby Kohl’s store to ensure the packaging is dealt with responsibly.

Steps to Returning Amazon Packages at Kohl’s

Returning your Amazon package at Kohl’s is a straightforward process:

  1. Go to your Amazon orders page and select the item(s) you wish to return.
  2. Follow the prompts to select the return method as ‘Kohl’s dropoff.’
  3. Amazon will provide a QR code, which you need to bring to Kohl’s (either printed out or on your smartphone).
  4. At Kohl’s, show the QR code to a store associate. They’ll pack and ship your return for free.

Benefits of the Kohl’s-Amazon Partnership

This partnership offers benefits that go beyond simplifying the return process. Here are a few:

  • Environmentally Friendly: This initiative promotes recycling and reduces waste, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Ease of Returns: Customers no longer have to worry about packing their returns.
  • Increased Foot Traffic for Kohl’s: The service attracts Amazon customers into Kohl’s stores, potentially boosting their sales.

Note: The Kohl’s-Amazon returns program is available at all Kohl’s stores across the United States.

Why Recycling Amazon Packaging Matters

Online shopping has become a staple in our day-to-day life, bringing unparalleled convenience and an array of options right to our doorsteps. But this comes at a cost.

E-commerce has significantly increased the volume of packaging materials, particularly cardboard and plastic, contributing to environmental waste. This is why Kohl’s role in recycling Amazon packaging is so crucial.

Amazon is one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, and its packaging materials, if not disposed of correctly, can contribute significantly to environmental degradation.

Kohl’s recycling initiative helps mitigate this issue, turning a potential environmental problem into a solution. It’s a testament to how businesses can be creative and proactive in addressing sustainability concerns.

I recommend: Always think about the packaging when you’re ordering online. Where possible, opt for minimal packaging or choose retailers that are known for their recycling or sustainability initiatives.

The Wider Impact of Kohl’s Sustainability Initiatives

Kohl’s commitment to recycling and sustainability doesn’t stop with Amazon packaging. The company has implemented a comprehensive sustainability strategy focused on climate action, waste, and recycling, which extends to their supply chain, operations, and products.

Their efforts in recycling Amazon packaging is just one example of how they’re implementing this strategy in a practical and customer-friendly way. This initiative not only helps the environment but also provides a model that other businesses can follow.

Breaking Down the Recycling Process

Once you drop off your Amazon return at Kohl’s, the process of recycling begins. The items are sorted, and the packaging materials are separated.

  1. Cardboard boxes: These are flattened and baled together. They are then sent to a recycling plant where they’re broken down, pulped, and made into new cardboard materials.
  2. Plastic materials: These are also collected, cleaned, and sent to recycling facilities where they’re transformed into plastic pellets. These pellets can be used to manufacture new plastic items, including packaging materials.

This way, Kohl’s ensures that packaging materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill are given a new life, reducing the overall demand for new packaging production.

Sustainability in Retail

What Kohl’s is doing with Amazon returns is part of a larger trend in the retail industry. More and more retailers are recognizing the importance of sustainability, both for the planet and for their business.

Consumers today are more environmentally conscious and are likely to support businesses that align with their values. Companies like Kohl’s are leading the way in this area, demonstrating how sustainability can be integrated into business operations in a way that benefits customers, the company, and the planet.

Looking to the Future

The Kohl’s and Amazon partnership is an innovative example of two businesses collaborating to tackle an environmental challenge. As e-commerce continues to grow, so will the problem of packaging waste.

However, with more initiatives like this, we can hope to see a future where shopping online doesn’t have to come at the expense of our planet.

Note: Not all packaging is recyclable. It’s important to check local recycling guidelines to ensure you’re disposing of materials responsibly if you’re not returning them through a program like the one at Kohl’s.

Additional Tips

  • Remember, the original Amazon packaging isn’t required for returning items at Kohl’s. The store takes care of repackaging.
  • Don’t forget to bring the QR code provided by Amazon when you drop off your return.
  • If possible, consider walking, biking, or carpooling to Kohl’s to drop off your returns to reduce carbon emissions.


In conclusion, Kohl’s indeed recycles Amazon packaging, making it an environmentally responsible choice for your Amazon returns. This partnership between Kohl’s and Amazon not only makes the return process more convenient but also contributes to sustainability, setting an example for other companies to follow.


Can I return unpacked items to Kohl’s?

Yes, Kohl’s accepts unpacked Amazon returns.

Is the Amazon Returns service available at all Kohl’s stores?

Yes, you can return Amazon items at any Kohl’s store across the United States.

Do I need to bring my own box to Kohl’s for an Amazon return?

No, you don’t need to bring your own box. Kohl’s takes care of the packaging.


  • Chris Chamberlan

    Chris Chamberlan, passionate animal welfare activist and USC graduate, conducted undercover RSPCA missions exposing slaughterhouse malpractices. A vegan and advocate for humane treatment, Chris has spoken at international conferences, been involved in vegan outreach, and founded Solarpunk Solutions for sustainability. His blending of animal welfare with eco-living principles for a compassionate future.

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