Netizens Call Out Poor Packaging Choices; Here’s How You Can Reduce Plastic Waste

Netizens Call Out Poor Packaging Choices; Here’s How You Can Reduce Plastic Waste
Cover Image Source: Overpackaging problems Reddit | (L) u/TheFlameBoy4 (R) u/golfandwine

If you walk into the nearest supermarket right now, there's a good chance you will notice the excessive amounts of plastic and foam packaging, which sometimes even seems unnecessary. Plastic is so ubiquitous that it sometimes goes under the radar. However, it's important to realize that the planet cannot afford any more laxity. Currently, humans are generating close to 350 million metric tons of plastic waste each year and the US is responsible for around 13.9% of this total mismanaged plastic waste each year. A part of these metrics can be attributed to the waste generated by the FMCG companies.

Duracell packing | Reddit | r/EgregiousPackaging
Duracell packing | Reddit | r/EgregiousPackaging

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Reddit users use the subreddit r/EgregiousPackaging to call out poor packaging choices. In one such instance, OP TheFlameBoy4 posted a picture of a bunch of caviar cans that the OP sarcastically calls, "very fragile."

Reddit | Bree4444
Reddit | Bree4444

In the photo, the sealed metal cans can be seen wrapped in a styrofoam tray and wrapped in cling film, creating a transparent layer of packaging on the cans. Many took to the post to state reasons why there might have been a second layer of packaging. One user writes, "Probably because they are crazy expensive and won’t sell if they’re dented" while another writes, "Probably trying to keep people from pocketing them. But not doing a great job."

Local grocery store (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Pixabay
Local grocery store (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Pixabay

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In another post from the same subreddit, user u/GolfandWine shared three images of a huge box. In the last image, the viewers can see that the huge box contains a tiny lithium battery. Many took to the post to talk about how ordering one battery was also a part of the problem. One comment reads, "Everyone who's spent 5 minutes on this sub knows that Amazon doesn't have 875 sizes of box. Perhaps ordering a single battery on Prime delivery is part of the problem as well? Ride your bike to a store, or collate a lot of things that you need in one order to be more efficient" while another wrote, "Neat… another a**hat with zero personal accountability buys a single tiny item." Many also pointed out that the huge packaging could be the result of adhering to hazmat regulations.

Reddit | PrincessJadey
Reddit | PrincessJadey

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Plastic waste is a bigger issue than many might consider it. Also, plastic packaging not only harms the environment but also your pocket as consumers are the ones to pay extra for the extra packaging. Meanwhile, the process of manufacturing plastic is also not great for the planet. Manufacturing plastic requires huge amounts of oil which pollutes the environment. Moreover, plastic takes hundreds of years to break down.

Amazon workers unloading boxes from a truck in Manhattan on July 21, 2023 in New York City. Image Source: Getty Images|Photo by Kena Betancur
Image Source: Getty Images|Photo by Kena Betancur

While measures should be taken on a macro level, it's a fact that even baby steps can help the planet in many ways. As consumers, we can stop using single-use plastic products like straws, plates, and cutlery. Buying in bulk is also helpful for the environment as it helps to minimize packaging to an extent. Apart from this, rethinking our storage choices can also help. Carrying shopping bags is a great way to avoid taking extra plastic bags each time we shop. Other efforts include buying natural fibers, using refillable water bottles, and composting.

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