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Life Cycle Inventory of Packaging Options for Shipment of Retail Mail-Order Soft Goods

Catalogs and the Internet are shifting retail purchases away from traditional "bricks and mortar" stores and towards direct marketing where goods are shipped directly from a distribution center to its customers. With the growth of e-commerce has come an increase in packaging use and waste. The Oregon DEQ, Metro, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have co-sponsored this technical study in order to evaluate the solid wastes, as well as energy, materials, and atmospheric and waterborne emissions associated with the entire life cycle (production, use, and discards) of a variety of packaging materials that are currently used to ship non-breakable items (soft goods) in catalog sales or e-commerce. This study demonstrates that within the realm of shipping non-breakable items in catalog or e-commerce sales, there are a wide variety of packaging options that directly impact the quantity of solid waste generated, amounts and types of energy and raw materials used, and amounts and types of atmospheric and waterborne emissions.

Click on the links below to view the report:

[print version]


For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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