Packaging materials are increasing in quantity much more rapidly than the population, primarily because of the continuing rise in self-service merchandising. Per capita consumption, which was 404 lb in 1958, is expected to be 661 lb in 1976. Until recently, no systematic analysis of the relationship between packaging and solid waste disposal had been undertaken. These interactions are defined, and the differences, with possible solutions, are explored. In the report packaging materials, consumption data from 1959 to 1966, and the outlook from 1966 to 1976 are discussed. Also covered are the areas concerned with disposability, analysis of the collectability, the resistance to disposal and processing, and the salvageability and reuse of packaging materials. Finally the mechanisms are explored to mitigate problems that arise from this type of waste: how research, education, incentive programs, taxes, and regulations can reduce the quantity and reduce the processing difficulties of this disposed material, yet save the natural resources from which packages are made.