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If you do as much online shopping as we do, you've probably run into over-packaging before. You ordered something small and light, and it arrived at your house in a box large enough to store your entire wardrobe, with the Bubble Wrap to match. Or you ordered 10 things, that all came in 10 boxes.
Overused packaging isn't just frustrating, it's creating a big problem. Packaging materials make up more than 40% of the solid waste stream in the United States, according to Packaging Digest (a trade publication for packaging producers, ironically). Most of that ends up in a landfill.
We all know the drill: Reduce, reuse, recycle. But why aren't our favorite online retailers on board? We found 10 crazy examples of ridiculous packaging that prove it's time for those retailers to rethink how products are shipped.
The nesting SD card
It started out in life as an SD card. Then it got shoved into a plastic protective case. Then the plastic protective case got its own plastic clamshell cover. And then it finally arrived to the consumer in a massive box complete with a seemingly endless roll of wrapping paper. Maybe nesting SD cards are the new collectors' item?
Maybe Amazon thought it was a real car?
Our second example appears to be a small toy car set made for children. These sets are typically lightweight and come in very small boxes (because we all know parents live to assemble), but the toy was shipped in a box large enough to fit a small car. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but the box and packing materials are way more than needed.
Or maybe it's nesting boxes?
In our next example, we can place the blame squarely on the retailer. This Flickr user ordered a new smartphone (you know, those fancy, streamlined, thin-as-a-piece-of-paper things you can fit in your pocket?). The phone was packaged neatly in a tiny box, which was put into a slightly larger box, which was then put into a huge box.
The SD cards are back
Maybe the real lesson here is to never order an SD card online unless you need a huge box for moving. Here's another example of a small, lightweight SD card being shipped in a box big enough to cover almost an entire desk.
How many air bags does it take to keep a ruler safe?
We count 20. A customer ordered a single ruler off of Amazon. The ruler does fit lengthwise in the bottom of the box, and technically the 20 pieces of protective packaging fit too. We're just not sure they were needed.
Don't play with knives, kids
Knives should probably be packaged pretty securely, even if they're plastic, but this might be over the top. Each paring knife was wrapped in protective cardboard and placed in its own box. Then the three boxes were placed in another even larger box and wrapped with air cushions. Possibly overkill?
Sometimes it isn't the size of the box
One of our biggest gripes? Not just getting too large a box, but getting too many. Case in point: This plastic container of maple syrup was shipped separately from the rest of the order. With plenty of space in that huge box, it looks like the items could have been shipped together.
Organizing your organizers
Maybe Sears knew this customer was pro-organization? The person did buy socket organizers, after all. Perhaps the company was just trying to show off its skills to a fellow enthusiast by packing each organizer neatly in its own box?
A tranquil sea of bubbles
We're not sure what is going on here. The item is clearly unprotected on one side, but oh-so-protected on the other. In fact, there is so much inflatable packaging perfectly in place, it is almost peaceful to look at. If only all that plastic wasn't going to waste.
Padding for your padding
How do you ship padded envelopes? With even more padding, of course. This customer ordered a set of padded mailers, which were placed in a box, wrapped with inflatable packaging, and then placed in another box. If only a padded envelope had a way of protecting itself.
What other examples of ridiculous packaging do you have to share? Let us know in the comments!
Angela Colley is a contributing writer at dealnews. Republished with permission.