It’s always a pleasant surprise when companies offer something for free with the purchase of their products.
But, when one Redditor bought a new computer and got a complementary download of the antivirus software Webroot, they were confused when they found nothing inside the case.
Instead, there was an empty space where the disk should be with the message “No disk needed!” along with instructions on downloading the software.
Puzzled as to why the company would allow such wasteful packaging in the first place, the Redditor posted a photo of the empty box in the subreddit r/CrappyDesign.
If you try to buy antivirus protection from Webroot, you can get an optional software CD to reinstall it. However, a digital download is automatically included with your purchase.
The Redditor bought their computer in a store, explaining that the physical copy was the only option they were given for the free download.
One commenter gave a possible explanation for the unnecessary packaging: “Same reason they sometime[s] put those plastic case[s] in bigger cardboard boxes so it’s thicker. Because software is naturally non-physical, a lot of people like to at least have boxes. Not defending the practice, just explaining why they do it,” they said.
Still, it seems like it could’ve been avoided by simply emailing the antivirus software keycode to users. Not to mention, plastic waste around the world is causing an environmental disaster.
The United Nations Environment Programme reported that around “36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging, including single-use plastic products.” A staggering 85% of this plastic gets sent to landfills or contaminates roadways and the natural environment.
One way to avoid excessive plastic packaging is to opt for sustainable products like reusable grocery bags and water bottles. Also, buying from brands that offer plastic-free packaging can make a big difference.
The OP shared their thoughts about the situation: “It’s just annoying because I would’ve preferred to get a card [rather than] an empty case,” they wrote in the comments.
Another Reddit user agreed, writing, “Waste of packaging, this could have been put on a card.”
“Fantastic, it’s not like we have a huge global single use plastics problem or anything,” one user sarcastically added.
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