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So tell me how many of you have struggled with those frustrating sealed plastic containers for ink cartridges or memory cards? I have cut myself on those stupid things; they package something in two square feet of plastic for something that is two square inches! Or how about the excessive packing on software? You sometimes get this box about 8"w X 12"h X 2"d that folds in the middle, all this for something that is in a plastic case inside that is only 5"X5"! There other examples I am sure you can think of like toy packaging, how many of you have spent over half an hour trying to get a toy out of its package! To give you real reasons for all the excessive packaging is twofold.
One the retailers in the store want you to see it and sell it to you.
If it was only two square inches you would not see it and they wouldn't sell it.
The package is what sells the item for the retailer, it is all advertising space! You pick up a software box and that is where they try to sell it to you, you read it, you like it, you buy it.
The second reason is a bit of mental psychology.
You mentally feel better walking up to the till with a bigger package than with a two inch square package that cost $199.
99.
That is how we have been programmed over the years, bigger is better.
Now there is a third reason for the retailer which is a sad reality for them, theft.
How easy would it be to slip that little memory card into your pocket or hide it in another package if it was only two inches square.
Well if we consider the impact of all this on the environment it is huge.
Most of that packaging ends up in landfills and most of it will be discovered by archeologist 200 years from now (if we are still here).
Most of the materials used are oil based chemicals and they don't breakdown easily.
We are attempting to recycle this stuff in many places and there are a few success stories.
Unfortunately most of this plastic is just stockpiled or just incinerated, in the city of Hamilton in Canada we had a terrible fire at one of these so called recycle plants it burned for days and the surrounding area was evacuated.
I am sure there are events of this nature happening in other places.
The real solution to this is to reduce the packaging and this is where internet retail companies can really help.
They do all the selling for the product on the website, if you the buyer want to know if the product is what you want then read about it online.
This eliminates the big boxes with all the advertising on it trying to sell you the product, you the buyer can sit at home and read all about the product, read the reviews, and make an informed decision.
The internet company can reduce the packaging because you have already been convinced and purchased the product.
The buyer will feel good even if the package is small because they have made an informed decision and they have helped reduce waste.
The internet company can reduce their shipping cost and probably reduce their space required for inventory.
The internet retailers should not have to worry as much about theft of small packages since they do not have customers wandering through their store physically.
The ripple effects of this can go along way! The internet retailer can then request this reduced packaging from the manufacturers.
The manufacturers should make two set of packaging one for the retail stores and one for the internet retailers.
The manufacturers would be save money on their packing cost and on shipping.
Since much of the packaging materials is oil based the savings can be significant, the price of oil is not coming down! Speaking of the price of oil this also gives a large benefit of reduced emissions from our vehicles; you didn't have to drive anywhere to get that product.
The Internet software retailers are already doing a good service in this by downloading programs straight form the internet.
This is a great way to reduce packaging and the buyer gets to use the product immediately, I have done this myself it is great.
This can also be done for games, music, and movies, anything digital can be purchase in this manner.
This doesn't just reduce packaging it eliminates it! Another area is in the newspaper and magazine industry.
People are going to internet news sites and ezines for their information in the millions now; this reduces paper waste by the ton! We have even seen some pulp and paper mills close and part of this because of reduced newspaper and magazine purchases.
Pulp and paper mills are some of the biggest polluters in world so that doesn't break my heart.
The internet can be a great place to help the environment.
Count the ways: 1.
Reduced packaging creating less waste in the landfills.
2.
Elimination of packaging by direct downloading of products to your computer.
3.
Reduced emissions from driving from store to store.
Less air pollution and less global warming.
4.
Reduced paper waste.
5.
Less warehouse space means less heating and air conditioning required.
Reduced emissions again.
6.
Less demand for oil based packaging reduces the requirement for petro/chemical refineries.
The price of oil may drop due to reduced demand.
7.
Possible reduction in building retail malls (in my city it is an epidemic eyesore).
Leave more green space for all of us.
I am sure there are more ways that you think of.
The internet is a good way to help the environment.
Let's all consider the impact of what we are doing on this planet.
Feel good about buying on the internet, even when you do get that item in a two square inch package, your helping the planet! Everything we do helps.
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