For regular surfers of the web, using the Internet and shopping on Amazon seem to go hand-in-hand. Call it an Internet user’s occupational hazard or even a digital rite of passage.
Amazon purchases happen about 1.6 million times per day, and sometimes, the packaging can be a bit of a mind-blower, as one Redditor recently experienced.
In a thread posted to the r/anticonsumption subreddit, one user showed off their recent Amazon purchase. It’s a small unidentifiable green box inside a massive, otherwise empty Amazon delivery box.
“Amazon being green as usual,” the Redditor captioned the image.
Using appropriately sized shipping boxes can help to reduce the cost of goods for both the consumer and seller. Excess packaging also puts pressure on recycling and waste disposal systems — a burden most often felt by taxpayers.
Amazon has been vocal about its efforts to make its business, specifically its packaging and delivery systems, more sustainable, such as by prompting Prime members to choose the Amazon Delivery Day option when making their purchases. Delivery Days help to reduce packaging used for multiple items, and it requires drivers to make fewer trips — both measures aimed at reducing the online retailer’s pollution and waste.
But the Reddit thread shows there’s still room for Amazon to make improvements.
“Pretty sure Amazon is the biggest driver in overconsumption,” wrote one user.
“Better than a plastic bag,” countered a second. “Cardboard can go into a compost pile.”
“Amazon is far from sustainable but c’mon there’s no way this is real,” a third user said in disbelief. “There must have been something else in that box.”
However, it’s not only plausible but very likely that such a tiny object was packed in such a massive box.
In a 2018 interview, Inside Edition asked Trae Bodge, an online shopping expert who runs a blog on the topic, why multiple Amazon customers had reported experiencing this wasteful issue with their purchases.
“There’s a theory about how the trucks and pallets need to be packed,” Bodge explained. “They need to be in a certain shape, for instance, in that truck so things don’t move, so sometimes it makes sense to put a small item in a big box so it all fits together.”
Another Redditor suggested it would have been “best” if the poster was able to order from a local vendor instead of Amazon in the first place to avoid the packaging and the shipping altogether. “Not sure the package size makes any noticeable difference in its impact on the environment,” they wrote.
Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.