There’s a Good Chance Your Holiday Returns Will End Up in a Landfill

5 billion pounds of returned items end up in the trash heap, according to Optoro, a tech company that helps major retailers manage their returns. Not only are these returns environmentally unfriendly, but they are costing retailers a fortune.

Each year, consumers return about $380 billion worth of goods — $90 billion of which are processed during the holiday, according to Optoro. Only half of returns make it back onto shelves, the company estimates. The rest, due to circumstances such as damages or opened boxes, take a different path.

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