Home / Knowledge / News / E-commerce / 5 bn tonnes trash from US online product returns annually

5 bn tonnes trash from US online product returns annually

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Returns of products purchased online generate five billion tonnes of trash and 15 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, and while consumer behaviour can contribute to this, the majority of online shoppers say it is the retailers’ responsibility to address the environmental damage caused by returns, according to a new online survey of US adults.

The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Threekit, the product visualisation software platform. Threekit helps companies create and manage product visuals.

The survey of over 1,900 adults who shop online found 82 per cent of US online shoppers agree that online retailers have a responsibility to do all they can to reduce purchase returns due to the negative impact processing a return has on the environment.

Seventy six per cent of online US shoppers say they would return or exchange online purchases less often if online retailers provided more accurate product images and details, according to a press release from the company.

In response to the findings and to mounting environmental costs of e-commerce, Threekit recently announces the launch of ‘Visuals Make a Difference’, a commitment to help online retailers achieve sustainability.

The initiative includes free visual assessments for companies that want to improve their product experience and keep items purchased from being sent back, as well as education for retailers on how to prevent returns.

Through these efforts, Threekit hopes to reduce total US product returns by 2 per cent and carbon dioxide emissions by 2 per cent in 2020, and plans to track this progress throughout the year.

With Amazon accounting for 49 per cent of all e-commerce purchases in the United States, Threekit says the company can be influential in driving the trend of better imagery standards. Threekit has urged Amazon to join them in the ‘Visuals Make a Difference’ effort.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

Must ReadView All

Pic: Shutterstock

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Jan 2021

Industry 4.0 could transform Cambodian garment sector: ADB

Cambodia should consider developing industry transformation maps in...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 22nd Jan 2021

China leads global economic recovery

China has turned the only major economy to end up with a positive GDP ...

Pic: Shutterstock

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Jan 2021

Bangladesh apparel exports decline 2.99% in H1 FY21

Readymade garment exports from Bangladesh declined by 2.99 per cent...

Interviews View All

Top executives, Textile industry

Top executives
Textile industry

The foremost issue is bridging the skill gap

Headhonchos, Indian fashion industry

Indian fashion industry

Organic the first choice of any environment-conscious person

Headhonchos, Indian textile value chain

Indian textile value chain

Adopt innovative techniques, go for automisation rather than being...

Carmen Makover,

Carmen Makover

Leading the digital textile printing industry, Israel-based Kornit...

Marcus Hardelauf,

Marcus Hardelauf

Germany-based Textechno is one of the leading manufacturers of testing...

Akshat Chaudhary,

Akshat Chaudhary

Aizome, Asia's first Fairtrade denim brand, is all set to launch next...

Ian Russell, Pireta

Ian Russell

UK-based Pireta has developed a unique free-form process to add durable,...

Mr Ambrose Chan, DSG International (Thailand) PLC

Mr Ambrose Chan
DSG International (Thailand) PLC

Hemant Bheda, Arevo

Hemant Bheda

Arevo, based in Silicon Valley in California, develops technology to...

Ritu Kumar, Label Ritu Kumar

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Sarah Denise Cordery, Sarah Denise Studio

Sarah Denise Cordery
Sarah Denise Studio

Manchester, England-based Sarah Denise Studio provides relevant fashion...

Akta Adani, India Boulevard

Akta Adani
India Boulevard

India Boulevard is a San Francisco-based curated fashion marketplace that...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

January 2021

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

Advanced Search