Companies packing their orders in excessively large boxes is becoming all too common, and one Redditor took to the thread r/EgregiousPackaging to share their most recent run-in with the issue.
The series of photos begins with a reasonably large box, probably around 8 x 12 inches — implying a relatively big order.
However, as the photos reveal, the order was really for a small package of two batteries — the rest of the box was filled with large bubble cushioning and honeycomb-style wrappings.
As one commenter revealed, not only is this packaging extremely excessive, it’s also illogical. “The air pillows completely defeat the purpose of the fiber based cushion lock,” they wrote.
Walmart has a mission to move toward sustainable packaging on their website, where they claim that they’re making an effort to transition to “100% reusable, recyclable, or industrially compostable packaging.”
This is a great mission, and they seem to be somewhat on the right track here, using cardboard and honeycomb wrap that can be compostable in some instances. However, an effort to use more sustainable packaging isn’t very impactful if the company is still using excess amounts of it in each order.
Plus, it’s more effort for you to unwrap everything and take out the trash sooner, and that large-bubble cushion wrap is extremely dangerous once it’s dumped in a landfill.
Approximately 40 million tons of plastic is thrown away every year in the U.S., and according to one report, only 5% of that plastic is recycled. Once in a landfill, plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose and often ends up breaking down into microplastics — small pieces of plastic about the size of a sesame seed. Microplastics often end up in oceans and waterways where they cause harm to wildlife as they’re ingested.
Hopefully, companies like Walmart and Amazon, which are notorious for their excess packaging, will make changes with continued awareness brought to the issue. For now, though, it’s important to recycle any packaging you can and consider whether you can wait until your next trip to the store to pick up an item you planned to order.
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