Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amazon overpackaging

Amazon overpackaging
Originally uploaded by bonbayel.

I got a very lightweight large box from Amazon today. The contents? The very thin blue book you can see sticking up out of it. Since we are among Amazon's biggest customers, we have recycled many tons of cardboard. We'd actually prefer to be able to recycle less - and I'm sure the mailman would have been happy to be able to put this particular package into the mailbox!

I just searched Flickr for "Amazon package" and found 676 results! Some of these are actually good, some are damaged (probably not Amazon's fault, but many are as wierd as this one!

Then I thought I'd google the same, and found a number of interesting blog commentaries (Results about 7,720,000 for amazon packaging) with lovely pictures, like these:

You get the idea! Any more examples?

You'd think Amazon would be interested in saving money (on cardboard and shipping costs) as well as trees and their CO2 emissions. The strange thing is that they actually have very good packaging materials that can be folded to fit the book. I wonder if it's a training problem - that the packagers take whatever container is nearest?

On a Flickr group called Ridiculously overpackaged products, I found a great article from the English newspaper, the Guardian, about overpackaging in general, which starts like this:

One family, one month, 50kg of packaging. Why?
It started with a shrink-wrapped coconut. Then, as we delved further into the murky depths of the packaging industry, we discovered some startling facts. How much energy does it take to produce the yogurt pots, carrier bags and plastic bottles that end up in your bin? We asked four families to collect a month's worth of rubbish and our experts put their waste to the test. By Lucy Siegle

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