Amazon has launched an “eco-friendly” online shopping platform to help direct shoppers towards more sustainable household products.

The platform, which will be made available to customers in the UK and parts of Europe this week, will stock more than 40,000 items carrying certificates from schemes such as the Carbon Trust and Fairtrade International. 

The move is designed to help consumers select products based on their environmental credentials. 

As first reported by The Guardian, products ranging from plastic-free shampoo bars to organic children’s clothing will be featured in a dedicated section of the Amazon website, with additional sustainability information available on product pages.  

Amazon has also created its own externally validated certification, Compact by Design, encouraging third-party brands selling through its platform to create products that can reduce carbon emissions.  

The online giant has faced criticism in the past for its excessive use of cardboard and the impact of its fleet of delivery vehicles on the environment. 

But Amazon has vowed to be a net zero carbon business by 2040 and said the new “eco-friendly” initiative would help it achieve that aim. 

Amazon UK boss Doug Gurr said: “With 18 external certification programmes and our own new certification, we’re incentivising selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations.”

But environmental campaigners described the move as a “token gesture”. 

Greenpeace UK senior campaigner Will McCallum said: “Amazon sells millions of products and this latest initiative covers just a tiny fraction of the total. By certifying only a limited range of goods, Amazon is implicitly admitting that the rest of its business model isn’t up to scratch. 

“The environmental and climate crises we are facing demand more than token gestures and piecemeal action.”