I hate extraneous packaging. Case in point: the toothpaste box:
This box isn’t packaging holding the product. It just holds the other packaging. If the average person buys 3 tubes of toothpaste a year, that’s 900 million completely useless toothpaste boxes thrown away in our country every year.
What’s more, as they’re currently designed, each box could fit 2 tubes, so they’re each half-empty. So that means, when this product is shipped across country, the trucks are burning gasoline to ship cargo that is 50% air. And then in the grocery aisle, they’re taking up twice as much square footage as they need. And all of that inefficiency wastes fuel, trees, environmental resources, and money.
When companies say things like, “We’ve always done it this way,” or “We couldn’t change it because ______”, what they’re really saying is, “We’re lazy.” Fixing packaging problems like these requires some upfront investment of time, money, and creativity, but once the solution is implemented, it saves money. And we’d no longer have to throw useless boxes away, just so that companies can continue to ship air.
Here are my top packaging pet peeves:
1. Products that come in a tube or bottle, that then are also packaged in a box (aspirin, nyquil, toothpaste, deodorant)
2. Those plastic death-grip packages for toys and electronics that have to be opened with a chainsaw
3. Packaging that makes it impossible to retrieve a large amount of the product. Toothpaste tubes, for example. I usually cut the bottom off of toothpaste towards the end, and I’m able to extract another week’s worth in a very messy way. Why not put toothpaste in a jar, like face cream?
4. Products that are designed so that it is impossible to re-use them — one-time pepper mills, throway cameras, etc.
5. Hermetically sealed items that do not need to be pristine. I’m looking at you, toilet paper. Do we really need toilet paper to come wrapped in 18 layers of plastic, arriving at your bathroom stall pure as the driven snow? You do know where this is going, right? Ditto paper towels, maxi pads, diapers. These are not state secrets.
..What are your packaging pet peeves?