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Now Packaged with Less Plastic


:P
On this page:

Really?

LessPlastic

I can only imagine what the packaging must have looked before “Now”.

This bugs the shit out of me. Why do manufactures have to waste resources like this? This packaging for 3 lousy memory sticks is gel plastic and is the size of a 8x14 piece of paper. What the hell for? Marketing? You think people will actually stop and go – gee, look at that nice packaging?

Wasted resources, increased transportation costs for the extra weight and volume, more shit for the landfill – this is a complete waste. Why, why, why?

Unfortunately I had somebody pick this up for me at CostCo today, otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered… I think I’ll take this back with a note, but I suppose that’s a feeble form of protest.  CostCo is the worst offender for massive packaging like this. It’s not like people need a big banner to be reminded to pick up memory sticks or ink cartridges (which are the other item that has like 1/10th of packaging actually cover the product and the rest just waste).

Maybe we need a high profile law suit for somebody cutting themselves with this plastic packaging to get mfrs. to stop with this ludicrous non-recyclable, plastic packaging. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet. I know I’ve cut myself good a few times on that crap.

Posted in Personal  

The Voices of Reason


 

Lee Dumond
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Actually, retailers like Wal-Mart are slowly but surely reversing this trend. I read an interesting story recently how Wal-Mart got with General Mills and forced them to reduce the size of their packaging. They did it by doing things like "pre-settling" the contents of their boxes, reshaping the pasta in their Hamburger Helper (same amount of food in less space), and so on.

They did the same thing a few years back with P&G and the other laundry detergent manufacturers. You'll notice that the bottles are now 1/2 the size and the product is "double-concentrated" (same cleaning power, half the volume).

Single dudes like me who do their own grocery shopping notice these things... ;-) The point being that the companies who put this stuff on the shelves have all the power to force changes like this, and the realities of rising transportation costs are giving them the impetus to do so.

Arthur Chaparyan
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I think this is what the package looked like before:
http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/SanDiskCruzerMicro4GBUSBStickReview-jmke-23053.jpg

Which means the only improvement is they have 3 of them in a single package, so it's marginally less plastic. Still, it's a complete waste of resources and their own money.

Rick Strahl
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

@Arthur - interesting picture link :-} Apparently they don't allow cross linking their images...

LurkingVariable
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

It's to prevent "shrinkage"... now, not the "just got out of the pool" kind, but the kind where small volume/high value items disappear from the store without anyone paying for them. Just try to fit that big ol' package in your pocket. I hate it too, but I can kinda see why...

Justin Rudd
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I seem to recall from years ago the package was designed to stop shop lifters. If it was reasonably sized around the size of the thumb drive, it could be hidden better in clothing or a bag. But with the size of that packaging, it would be hard to conceal in clothing. And clothing (or bags) that are big enough to hold it will cause enough of a scene getting it into said bag/clothing that someone might notice you.

Amazon is trying to reduce the wast a bit - http://ecorenovator.org/amazon-reduces-waste-frustrationfree-packaging/

Josh
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I thought I heard before in some cases it was for theft deterrence.. harder to stick an an enormous blister pack in your pocket. Not sure.

Either way, I up with the packaging for a laptop wireless card, dollar bill for reference.
http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=n29200410304266585061.jpg

Rick Strahl
February 24, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

@Justin - you've obviously never tried stealing something from CostCo, past the mad item counters at the door :-}.

FWIW, I'm not opposed to some sort of packaging, but this "help I'm drowning in packaging" approach is silly.

Amazon - well, I routinely get books from Amazon where books arrive one by one (instead of in one batch) even though I almost always use the cheapest, free shipping (which supposedly bundles everything). Further I still see lots of single books arrive in a box that fits big format books. Rare is the occasion where a single box actually arrives in the fold-over flap packaging.

Alex Sarafian
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I yahe the same question too. I never understood marketing. It is just insulting for me.
Happy to see posts like this from technical man.

Wookie
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Maybe even more annoying is the fact that this package is pretty much _impossible_ to open without a big knife or pair of scissors. When you need one of those on the road urgently, it's maddening to open!

Jim
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

You can only open those plastic cases with c-4. Or possibly the blood of a Xenomorph.

E Rolnicki
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

this is a new trend, they are actually working to get rid of the clam shells, however as stated above, the issue of loss-prevention is slowing things down.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/15/wave-of-mutilation-ends-as-best-buy-sony-and-microsoft-take-a-s/

Michael
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

It's probably just economics - it's probably cheaper for whoever packages those things to have a package that size to package a lot of different products.

The cost of changing the machine or settings or raw materials or whatever to accomodate a smaller package is probably more than the cost of the plastic they waste.

Of course, this economics does not take into account the cost of the extra plastic's effect on the environment, or the cost to them of annoying their customers!

Gaute
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

If you buy it in a physical store one option is to leave the excessive packaging in the store. (At least that is a consumer-right in Norway.) In addition to not filling your wastebin it leaves a signal that lighter packaging would have sufficed. Of course that is easier said than done with bulletproof plastic like that.

Sergio Pereira
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Maybe this already exists, but what if manufacturers started providing a smaller version of the packaging to be used by online or catalog retailers? Shoplifting and display prominence are non-issues in those cases, and it would also lower all sorts of costs.

Rus
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

And we always complain to each other how immature software industry is and how we can't build bridges... This package is probably just at version 745.95 - and look, they already making progress!

Neil Trodden
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

http://www.lovedance.co.uk/stupidness.html

^^^ Have a look at that, the most excessive use of packaging I've ever seen.

Steve from Pleasant Hill
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I have almost, several times, removed appendages trying to cut that plastic wrapping off with a razor knife. I would think that some people would find it near impossible at times.

Seriously, with all of the technology in the world you would think that for items like this (not food, not bleach, etc.) a "plastic" that dissolves in a mixture of dirt and moisture after 1 year could be developed, which was also earth-friendly.

João Bragança
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Rick, a possible explanation for the box thing. I can tell you that my company has a cost contract with a box supplier on certain sizes that was established years ago. I thought we were wasting too much money on extra packing material and extra postage so I inquired about a box half the size. The quoted price was 3 times as high because it was a 'new item' for us. It may be cheaper for them to use the bigger box!

Also, those boxes from them look pretty beat up by the time they get to me, it's possible that they are reusing boxes from returns or incoming shipments.

Peter Bromberg
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Kind of reminds me of the big "box" my MVP welcome package came in <grin/>. "Now with less brains" might be more a-propos.

Dominic Cronin
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Yeah - it's about occupying shelf space, and therefore ousting your competitors. It's the same reason that one company will manufacture 23 different varieties of cat food instead of 1. (or breakfast cereal, or shaving goop). If the supermarket fills its shelves with your crap, there's less room for your competitors' crap. Go Figure.

Siderite
February 25, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I totally agree with you, Rick. Especially after I've seen this at TED yesterday : http://blog.ted.com/2009/02/capt_charles_mo.php . I got especially disgusted when the guy said that most plastic (PET) bottles actually get on the bottom of the ocean so the junk we see on beaches today is just (pun intended) the tip of the iceberg.

ludicrous
February 26, 2009

# Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!

Dave
February 27, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

This is the "brain power" of America. We talk about saving resources and a green world...and then we let companies do this shit...no standards in packaging. While the CEOs sip their wine, this waste piles up and we cut ourselves while opening their products.

asswipes. Scandisk has always overused plastic as has half of the US manufacturers.

This is why we won't overcome our depression with idiots driving our economy like Scandisk.

Dave
February 27, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

And it takes "others" like Wal mart to bring "Common Sense" and "Effort" to bring across something so fucking stupidly common sense and sensible for the environment and everyone involved.

Again, laziness by marketing.

Glen
March 03, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I'd say this is definitely http://failblog.org/ material, do you mind if I submit it there?

Rick Strahl
March 03, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Took the package back to CostCo. The looks of the clerks were golden, but eventually all it invoked was a shrug of the shoulder. No comment, no sympathy nothing... sniff. Apathy - this way nothing will ever change.

Shalimar
March 03, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Imagine if you had ordered this online from Amazon. Amazon sends tiny things in such huge cardboard boxes!

Marty Cantwell
March 04, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I am in total agreement too. But I do understand the apparent reasoning behind the duplicity.

I think that the economy of scale and the greed factor nails us today in so many ways just like this. My wife works for a company who supplies products to normal retail channels as well as the "warehouse" markets like Costco and Sam's Clubs.

Instead of spending money on anti-theft technologies such as proximity tags and gateway systems, wholesale retailers like Costco and Sam's require the manufacturers to build the anti-theft "features" into their product packaging.

I can go to our local MicroCenter and pick up a two-pack of the same Cruzer Micro Flash Drives in a small bubble pack that fits in my shirt pocket. However, MicroCenter has a proximity tag attached on the product (or in the packaging) and gates at all entrances and exits to the building preventing someone just walking out with small items like this in their coats/pockets/other hidden body areas.

Instead of paying for the equipment, consumables, maintanence, and labor to employ such a system, most if not all of these bulk warehouse retailers spec oversized packaging on smaller items or a "take this card to the register" (where an associate goes into a locked room to obtain the smaller packed items when you check out) approach.

I guess these companies who want to maximize their bottom line (read "want everyone else to absorb as much of the cost of doing business so they don't have too!") just show that they are in business to make money despite the costs to the consumer and environment.

Just a thought...

Rick Strahl
March 04, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

@Marty - not sure if that's the case with CostCo at least. CostCo does the check items at the door thing - it'd be pretty hard to walk out with anything bigger than a pack of cigarettes.

Agreed though. Although I shop at CostCo (here in Hawaii it's practically a necessity) I realize that companies like them are evil and one of the root causes of rampant consumption and resource waste. Yet - I'm still there, because for one thing (like those memory sticks) - here on Maui at least we have such limited choice.

Phil
March 05, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

I bought a pair of scissors before and it had that sort of packaging.....if only I had a pair of scissors to open the packaging.....

Lynne
March 11, 2009

# re: Now Packaged with Less Plastic

Everyone needs one of these: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/9fb2/. Yes, it is the best thing since sliced bread! And saved me from cutting myself on the plastic. This one is nice as the blade is only exposed when it's in the pkg.

Sleeve sealers
April 29, 2010

# Sleeve sealers

I wish I had read this article last month, it would have made my job easier

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