I Don’t Want the Whole Package

packagingI know I am not the first person to notice or even mention this, but some companies just don’t seem to get it.  While lots of other companies are realizing that being more green when it comes to packaging also saves them money, the packaging on some products just gets ever more ridiculous.  Now granted, the manufacturers of most cosmetics aren’t exactly known for their environmental contributions, but even the music industry saw quickly how useless all that extra cardboard and plastic was on CD’s within a relatively short period of time.  That was decades ago, so why are there still companies who don’t get it?  In the current economic climate, you’d think it would be a no-brainer.

There is one cosmetic company in particular that has raised my ire.  I don’t want to give them free advertising, but I want people to know what they are doing, so I will tell you that their name rhymes with Boil of Olé.  I typically ignore all cosmetic ads, and theirs are generally no exception, but even with the television muted, it was impossible to miss that they put a glass bottle inside a plastic and cardboard box.  The box is already unnecessary, but to make matters worse, that box is about 3 times the width of the bottle and a couple of inches taller.  Why?  Why have a box at all, but more importantly, why make it even more excessively wasteful by making it far too big for the product?  Not only does that increase the amount of unneeded cardboard, plastic and ink in the world, but that’s also going to increase the size or number of boxes needed to carry product from warehouse to store - more wasted cardboard - and increase the fuel needed to ship those products.  A perusal of their website turns up the ugly truth - nearly all of their products appear to be packaged the exact same way.

They are hardly the only ones, either.  Have you opened a toy recently?  2 days ago as we prepared for my nephew’s birthday by removing the ties and bands, we literally ended up with more plastic anti-theft devices than toys.  Toy makers are some of the worse offenders.  Sure, many of them have cut out the plastic sheets and just go with “bare” cardboard, but as many plastic-coated twist-ties and plastic zip-ties and clear rubber bands and pieces of plastic tape as they use to compensate, it’s hardly helped the environment any.  Those plastic sheets might even have been less wasteful.  I understand anti-theft, but some of these toy boxes are way over the top - some toys have all those things and the plastic sheets.

So, what can we do?  Boycott is an option, certainly, but I think the key is that we need to let them know.  We need to write to these companies and say something along the lines of, “I like your products, but until you change your packaging, I can’t buy any more of them.  Your packaging is unnecessary, bad for the environment in more ways than one, and a waste of my money and yours.  Please consider reducing your carbon footprint by ceasing to manufacture such wasteful boxes for your goods.”  If we don’t tell them we’re unhappy, they may continue with their current practices indefinitely.

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4 Responses to “I Don’t Want the Whole Package”

  1. The worst is when you buy a small product (like a tiny flash card for the computer) and there’s a pound of plastic and cardboard and paper instructions. It’s unnecessary, wasteful and absolutely ridiculous.

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