Thursday, February 3, 2011

A word (or two) about packaging

Most people think about saving the environment these days.  We try to buy things that are recycled.  We carry our re-usable bags with us to the store.  We recycle.  Unfortunately this hasn’t really made an impact on companies that package the items we buy every day.

When I open a bag of chips, I discover that the bag is half empty.  It isn’t as if someone decided to sneak a snack at the factory. The manufacturer, I learn, sells by weight, not volume.  I wonder, did they get heavier in transit or did they just make the bag way bigger than it needed to be?  Ok, maybe I’ll buy the excuse that air protects from crushing, but what about…Frozen Pizza?

Frozen pizza is another thing that comes in a deceptively large package. Have you ever taken a pizza out of its huge box and discover the little bitty thing inside? The crushing excuse doesn’t hold water.

There are many items put into bags, boxes and cartons that are a bit large for them.  Weight, not volume I read those words over and over.  A half empty box of cereal is not really half empty; it’s just heavy.  And please…the plastic liner that holds the cereal itself, well you pretty much need a pair of tin snips to get inside those things. Or…you can try to be herculean and rip it only to end up with most of in on the floor.

So I continue with my shopping and pick up a bottle of ibuprofen. I’m starting to get a headache from all this pondering about packaging. 

I go home and open the bottle but not without another little problem.  Why is it I can never line up that little arrow which unless properly aligned, won’t open?  After several turns of the cap, I finally know how Aladdin must have felt when the genie appeared. 

I peer into the cavernous interior. Hmmm, a few tiny little pills in a giant, too big bottle. Is that an echo I hear?


Carol Blackburn said...

Hi Crystal, I hear what you are saying. Yesterday my grandson wanted some frozen waffles (I should have made homemade, I know) and when I took them out of the box I thought, my these are sooooo small. I remember them when they were as big as a saucer and fatter. These Aunt Jemima waffles were about the size of the cup that sits on the saucer inside that special spot. Then we started talking about the size of candy bars and how instead of raising the price, the manufacturers shrunk the product. Seems like we've been thinking along the same line here. They really should print our paper money about half as big after all it is the amazing shrinking dollar.

Carol said...

Yes, and do you notice that you are paying more and getting fewer ounces. Of course, they keep the package the same size so you won't notice. I cooked a cheap vegetarian meal tonight. Pinto beans, chili, onions, garlic, etc. little cheese on top. The cost per bowl was nominal. People -- we're going to have to begin cooking from scratch again, and cheaper!

Wanda said...

You preach it Sister. I join in and say AMEN to everything you have shared. I been thinking this too, but you verbalize so well!!

Anonymous said...

Wow nailed this right on the head. I too have been more than a little disappointed when opening different items and finding, or trying to find what I paid for!!! Terrific posting and well said!

Magic Love Crow said...

Hey Crystal, you are right about everything you have said! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post!

Lee said...

Who knew that opening a box of cereal could be such a challenge? ;^)

Leovi said...

I totally agree with words like yours have reasonable. Greetings

pve design said...

We really all need to think about the packaging and convince manufacturers to also do the same. It seems so wasteful. I try to use things over creatively and waste less.

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