If I were President of the World, the first thing I would do is make it compulsory for everyone to live with any packaging that comes with items they purchase for at least 12 months.
Imagine it…..if you had to keep all the boxes from Christmas toys, cosmetics and appliances. You would think twice about what your goods came in, wouldn’t you?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in a treehouse wearing sandals, and I have major guilt over my carbon footprint and gadget addiction AND I’m as much of a sucker for a nice box as the next person, but I CANNOT STAND flagrant waste. I’m not even religious, but I know deep down that a 30gm product that comes in an aluminium box weighing about 300gm has got to be, well, sinful.
Ok, let me give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. I use a hair product (not that you could tell on an average day) called FrizzEase Hair Serum by John Frieda. It comes in a little plastic pump dispenser with a locking nozzle, which is useful because it doesn’t spill when you’re travelling. However, when I buy this robust (nigh on indestructible) little bottle in the shop, it is packed within a plastic tray within a box which looks to be at least twice the size of the bottle itself. Considering the sound construction of the bottle, I have to ask myself, why? It’s so completely unnecessary that I am looking for an unboxed alternative.
Then, at one stage last year, I needed to replace my hands free set for my phone. For several years, I’d used and been very happy with the Motorola 700 series. Really comfy, nice design and reliable. Small. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when the shop assistant handed me over the new model – which I promptly handed back. It was the first time I’d ever refused an item on the grounds of gross over packaging. Seriously, the box looked like they’d butchered the casing of a MacBook Air to make it – I think I was in shock, but my memory is of an aluminium box. My sincere apologies to Motorola if they have never boxed a head set in metal packaging, but in any case, regardless of what the material was, the box was far too big for the tiny thing inside. And that too big box was essentially bin fodder.
Which brings me to my next point. Packaging isn’t free. Companies pay to add it to their products, so therefore, we pay for it too. So, every time you buy something that is excessively packaged, try and calculate how much of your purchase price you are taking back home to put in the trash. I’m getting wound up even writing this. My husband says I’m typing angrily.
Toys….another bug bear of mine. Clearly the packaging is designed to make the contents irresistible and more fun than they really are. How many big cardboard boxes full of picture of things that are sold separately have you had to find ways of disposing of come Boxing Day? And cosmetics….Don’t get me started. Why does a perfectly good jar full of face cream need to come in a double-walled box with a corrugated white bit for good measure? Who is getting any benefit from this? Is your face less wrinkly cos you got a bit more packaging? I doubt it, but I can guarantee that there’s a tiny bit less planet to go round and also a bit less left in your purse.
So, after this rant, I guess it’s unlikely that I’m going to get voted President of the World. Probably just as well – my diary is hectic. But here’s a trade off, if you’re listening John Frieda. Please offer me the OPTION of buying your product without the packaging at least. I’ll recycle the little pump lids, if you can just start selling the bottles with a normal lid and no boxes.
And here’s some stats from the Scottish Government and a nice photo to let you see what you’d be living with if I did get voted in and companies were still charging you for all those nice bits of rubbish the slap around their products….
I’m telling you, all this excess packaging is just bananas.