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Pen - 15 gms; non recyclable packaging - 75gms

Pen - 15 gms; non recyclable packaging - 75gms

You might remember I trundled to the post office last month with some ‘return to sender‘ type letters.

Any packaging which came into zero waste towers during January that was unmarked or couldn’t be recycled was sent back to the manufacturer with a letter asking them to responsibly dispose of the packaging and about any plans they had to improve recycling (or better still, reducing) in the future.

Well you know what? I’ve been thinking about the parker pen packaging and I have to admit I’ve been getting a bit hot under the collar about it.

Being a tad passionate about the whole zero waste lifestyle I weighed the packaging. It was 73 gms – almost as much as our weekly allowance during 2009. The majority of it was made from thick, brittle unmarked plastic.

I then weighed the pen; it was 15 gms!

This means the packaging weighed almost 5 times as much as the product I wanted.

Doesn’t that strike you as just a teeny bit wrong?

The product, the bit I wanted, the bit I wanted to spend my money on, seemed almost insignificant in the grand scheme of everything I had to buy.

AND I was buying it to reduce my dependency on disposable plastic biros. Grrrr.

As it happened I popped into the library this week and while I was waiting for Little Miss Green to choose her books I started browsing the latest Which magazine. There was a short article about a survey they had done on ‘supermarket bugbears’ and the number one complaint was too much packaging! I then found out that Which have a rogues gallery on their site along with lots of tips about reducing packaging waste.

I’ve been having a peek at their photos and some of them are not pretty. Some of them are so bad, in fact, that they make my parker pen packaging look positively angelic!

If you’ve bought a product you think is excessively wrapped, email details of the product and your photos to [email protected], putting ‘Excess packaging’ in the subject line and they’ll publish the best ones on their site.

Check out the rest of the naughties in their “Excess packaging” gallery and let me know what you think. Have you come across any packaging nightmares recently?

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