Here is the newest shameful packaging example. I ordered a new kitchen sink faucet on-line from Home Depot. The faucet itself is packaged in a box about two inches thick. That box was put in a box for shipping three times it’s thickness and the extra four inches of space was filled with AIRplus plastic “air pillows”, about 14 feet of it!
So an item already in a box is placed in a much bigger box and filled with plastic as a space filler to protect the item already in a box! AIRplus claims right on the “pillow” “reuse, reduce, recycle” and on their website under advantages of using this protective shipping product that it can be recycled. Today, a claim that a plastic product can be recycled is just not a good enough claim anymore. First of all, most plastic that can be recycled is not. Secondly, many places like where I live don’t have recycling facilities to recycle this type of plastic. That is definitely an issue I have with the city I live in, but it is also very irresponsible of a company to try to make itself and its product look good by claiming a product is recyclable. True, it may be recyclable, but it probably rarely is recycled. And shame on Home Depot for using a plastic packaging product in a box to protect a box, and so much of it.
And maybe shame on me for buying on-line and having the faucet shipped to me. Let me think this through: So I could not find a faucet design in any brick and mortar store that I liked. Had I bought from a brick and mortar store the original box the faucet comes in would have been the only packaging (which did have a plastic bag inside, by the way, but was mostly cardboard). So I looked on-line. I found a faucet design I really liked. This faucet could only be bought on-line, which means it came with shipping packaging as well as the original box. So, buying on-line means the addition of shipping packaging. Buying on-line is often thus not environmentally friendly. Let’s move on to look at why I wound up buying on-line…because I didn’t like the style of faucets in the store. Because I don’t like the style of something, I wind up with 14 feet of plastic packaging that I cannot recycle so it will wind up in the landfill, in the stomach of an animal or floating in the ocean. Humans put style, and convenience, over the health of the earth. It actually shouldn’t matter what my faucet looks like, as long as it works. Functional should be what matters. Love, family, community, nature, a healthy earth and future for our children, these should be what matter, not the style of a faucet, fashion or anything else. I could go even further and ask why I even bought a new faucet. The faucet I have now is leaking and it has no sprayer so it is not convenient for washing large cookware. But, could I not try to fix the leak? Could I not just make do without a sprayer? I have been in this condo for three months now without a sprayer and although it takes a bit more work (and splashy mess) to rinse large items I have actually gotten along fine. Now I am also putting a faucet into the garbage. Should we humans not try to make do more? We always want everything to be smooth, stylish, convenient, perfect. Despite the consequences. Something to think about.