Online retailer Amazon.com is the latest company to have an issue of excessive packaging come to light, and this example is bad.
In November of last year a customer thinking they were being efficient and reducing waste ordered a bulk order of 6, 32oz Ecover Delicate Wash detergents. To the surprise of the customer, each bottle was boxed in its own box and shrink-wrapped to cardboard and then packaged in a larger box again with additional packaging material.
Sustainable is Good learned about the excessive packaging last week while doing product research for upcoming stories.
The customer writes on Amazon.com, "A huge box arrived today, contained these six 32oz bottles that Amazon sells as a single order. It took me about 15 minutes to open up the big carton, then the 6 individual cartons within that carton, then remove the single bottle that was shrink-wrapped to another chunk of cardboard within that cardboard, bust down everything and jam it into the recycling bin.... Luckily all the cartons were kept safe from each other with an ample supply of plastic pillows. I haven't even used this stuff yet and I feel awful for purchasing it - there is no reason for this appalling waste of cardboard, plastic and shipping resources to get 6 plastic quarts of liquid from their warehouse to my house - it's packed as though it were ceramics!
I'm expecting the soap itself will be excellent. But the sad irony of wasting so much plastic and cardboard to ship this product - which Amazon sells in lots of six - just breaks my heart. I've uploaded an image of the earth carnage above.
I hope Amazon reconsiders such wasteful packaging in the future. There's absolutely no reason this couldn't be shipped in a box 1/4 the size and without any separation between the bottles - it's just laundry detergent!"
We've seen and profiled some examples of excessive packaging. In this instance the customer was ordering a bulk order of an "eco-friendly" Ecover product so the excessive packaging had a particularly upsetting impact on the customer. As awareness increases to issues of packaging and reducing waste we'll continue to learn of instances such as this. However its hopeful that retailers like Amazon will use instances like this to educate their distribution and shipping centers on the importance of maximizing resources and reducing packaging.