There’s a devastating environmental cost to returning your Cyber Monday purchases

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As the wait for Cyber Monday packages to arrive drags on, here’s something to feel guilty about: Your returns. 

Goods sent back during the holiday season online shopping are hurting the environment — and retailers. 

In 2015, consumers returned $20 billion worth of goods purchased online over the holidays, according to a report by the returns-focused logistics company Optoro. That’s nearly a third of total holiday returns, which came in at $69 billion in 2015. Annual returns for the year landed at $260 billion.  

All that stuff isn’t just getting shipped back out. Those total returns lead to 4 billion pounds of excess and returned inventory sent to landfills by U.S. retailers each year, Optoro said. That’s enough to fill 220,000 garbage trucks.  Read more…

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