While we are all taught that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, Amazon seems concerned that its customers will judge a shoe by its box.
A Redditor recently took to the r/Anticonsumption subreddit — whose page description simply reads “Consumerism Kills” — to air an Amazon packaging grievance.
“Amazon threw out a new pair of shoes’ box, and replaced it with another one cause it was ‘damaged,’” the poster wrote above a photo of shoes wrapped in tissue paper inside a box. The inside of the box lid reads, “This item has been repackaged in recyclable, frustration-free packaging because the original box was damaged in transit.”
“Am i the only one thinking this is odd?” the poster added below the photo. “I dont care that the box was damaged.”
“I used to process returns for Amazon,” offered a user in a comment. “They’re [very] uptight about shoe-box quality. I wasted so much time throwing out boxes that I personally wouldn’t have had a problem with.”
While some customers may appreciate getting their items in a fresh, undamaged box, the environment and our rapidly overheating planet could certainly do without the wastefulness of the practice.
Based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018, the United States generated 292.4 million tons of trash. Of that, 69 million tons were recycled and 25 million tons were composted. The rest likely ended up in landfills, pumping out powerful planet-warming pollution as it decomposed.
The same goes for today, and whether or not the poster’s original shoe box was recycled or composted is anyone’s guess. In a later comment, the OP further added, “Also it came shipped in a plastic bag around the box lol.”
This, however, is no laughing matter when you think about it, and it brings us to an even bigger issue: plastic pollution. Every year, the U.S. throws out around 40 million tons of plastic, only about 5% of which gets recycled. The rest finds its way into our rivers, oceans, animals and fish, and even our bodies, causing problems for each.
All this considered, it’s understandable that the unnecessary repackaging perturbed the poster, and they aren’t alone.
“The number of Amazon reviews I read with low star ratings for the box being damaged is always surprising to me,” another user commented. “I cannot imagine caring about something like that.”
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