Business Articles

Wasteful Packaging

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

I continue to be amazed at the way certain products are packaged. There is often waste and much more packaging material than is needed or justified. The black hose fitting below is accompanied by the blue holder. Both made of plastic, the holder, or packaging, is about 25 to 33% of the size if the fitting. This would suggest that of the dollar I paid for this product, 25 to 33 cents was actually for packaging. One might argue that there must be some means by which to hang the product on the display, but alas, they were all lying loose in a bin. Although I don’t understand it, oil is required for plastic, so why are we wasting oil for unnecessary plastic packaging?

Another perplexing packaging arrangement is HP printer cartridges. This is wrong on many fronts. The box is much bigger than it needs to be, a cardboard insert is needed to keep product from sliding around in the over-sized package, a sealed “recycling” pamphlet that accomplishes little, and a foil wrapper. (Dell just uses a foil wrapper for their cartridges—why can’t HP do the same?)

KFC meals are a third example of an excessive amount of “packaging” material. The quantity of none eatable product that goes straight to the landfill on every meal is shocking. It is so much that I find it hard to enjoy their food. (I thought about going to KFC and buying a meal so that I could take a picture of all the packaging used, but wouldn’t that make me an unnecessary contributor to the problem?) Other fast food outlets have figured a way to minimize their food packaging, why can’t KFC follow their environmentally friendly practices?


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