• Online Shopping Is Contributing To Our Waste Problem In Greenwich

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    According to the Greenwich Time, there was an initial drop in Greenwich waste with the introduction of a tipping fee in 2020.

    However “Four years later, the honeymoon is over in Greenwich. Without the incentive to reduce waste with PAYT, Greenwich has generated more trash every year. By 2025, it’s projected that the waste generated in our town will reach 40,000 tons, up from a pre-pandemic 36,000 tons. The tipping fee increase is designed to address the cost of these growing tonnages and other rising operational and disposal fees, which hauling customers will inevitably absorb.”

    Besides our small population growth and a building boom in both new construction and renovation, one of the overlooked causes for a significant increase in the recyclable side has been the shift to online shopping.

    Anytime that you visit the Holly Hill waste disposal center you will see a huge number of cardboard boxes in the recycling dumpsters.

    Many of these boxes come from the online goods shipped to Greenwich customers.

    According to a March 15, 2022, Forbes article, E-Commerce jumped 55% during covid to reach $1.7 trillion. Other sources are also reporting continued growth in E-Commerce post-pandemic. According to a McKinsey report, the pandemic essentially squeezed ten years of digital sales penetration into three

    When most goods are shipped by E-Commerce, there is a shipping box, some form of filler, often plastic, and the actual product boxes and packing materials themselves. The shipping box which is the largest box and the filler are not necessary when goods are purchased in a brick and mortar store. Some of the other boxed items can be placed in reusable bags at the brick and mortar store.

    “While paper packaging isn’t entirely benign — some 3 billion trees are pulped every year to produce 241 million tons of shipping cartons, cardboard mailers, void-fill wrappers, and other paper-based packaging, according to forest conservation group Canopy — single-use plastics present the bigger concern for
    environmentalists because they can persist in the environment, sometimes for hundreds of years. And their recyclability is often oversold. Currently, less than 14% of the nearly 86 million tons of plastic packaging produced globally each year is recycled. The vast majority is landfilled, incinerated, or left to pollute waterways and poison wildlife”. (Money Jan 8, 2021)

    If we want to stimulate our local economy, help the environment, reduce landfill and recyclable waste, we need to change our shopping patterns by expanding our shopping at brick and mortar stores.

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    Dr. Michael Goldstein

    Dr. Michael Goldstein is running for U.S. Congress. You can learn more about his campaign here: https://goldsteinforcongress.com/

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