January 18, 2012

Overpackaging is another thorn in my side

Retail overpackaging is another “eco sin” that really bothers me. I've whined about it every Christmas. Approximately one-third of the garbage we generate is packaging that is thrown away immediately after we purchase merchandise. It’s a waste of good trees and plastic.

It’s hard to think outside the box when Danny, our friendly UPS man in brown, delivers an Amazon purchase. And Amazon is actually working on reducing manufactuers' packaging.

Why do small objects need big boxes? When did "nano" imply huge? At least Apple mailed me my new iPhone in a small box.

One of the dumbest things I ever saw was bananas in shrinkwrap plastic. I’ll accept that some items require special packaging for public health, safety, shelf-life and theft considerations. But most over-the-top packaging is purely marketing—for more shelf space appeal to catch the consumer’s eye.

Being green shouldn’t be so frustrating. Friend Gary saw the irony when he emailed me a photo of a table full of “cardboard harvested from 8 CFL bulbs and 4 floods.”

And what about these whitening strips? The manufacturer had to justify the price some way! So what if I didn't want to buy a plastic container tough enough to fall from a plane and later whiten my teeth.

I thought that we wanted to cut down our dependence on foreign oil. Petroleum based plastics will always have a valid market, but this is ridiculous.