How To Safely Transport Your Bubble Wrap

I saw this picture on Reddit and had to share it. It raises vividly the problem this country continues to have over excessive packaging.

The picture for me captures the long-standing question of whether the United States should follow some European countries like Germany in imposing a tax on excessive packaging. The Europeans have less garbage produced by new products because companies are forced to internalize the costs of packaging that ends up in public dumps and landfills. The result is an incentive to reduce packaging and package material.

In the United States, it is common for companies to use over-sized boxes (think of opening product boxes and finding them half full like cereal or chips). There is also more internal material in many packages in the U.S. This marketing approach shifts costs the cities and states which have to deal with mountains of waste. It also depletes resources from trees to the added gas in shipping greater volumes of products.

19 thoughts on “How To Safely Transport Your Bubble Wrap”

  1. One of the reasons for so much packaging is a theft deterrant by increasing the size of the item. But I whole hartedly agree the packaging issue is out of control.

    I would like to also point out one of my serious complaints of another packaging issue: The near impossibility of opening packaging these days using only your own hands.

    It has gotten to the point where a person often needs to use very large and sharp scissors to open most packaging, especially the plastic kind. I cannot understand why this hasn’t been addressed by the gov’t pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The frail elderly or handicapped I can’t imagine being able to open so many products these days. It is a serious issue that really hasn’t been addressed to an acceptable degree.

  2. Ink and glue! My god get an electric heater. Of course if you use electric then you must question what the power company burned to make the electricity. Maybe your all hydro or windy in your utility sphere.

    Dont burn plastic, korans or bibles in your fireplace.

  3. I rec’d small vial is a fairly large box with lots of stuffing. Previously such orders (from a different firm) arrived in small padded envelops. Vial may have had a bit of bubble wrap for extra protection. I also had to pay much more in postage for the box.

  4. “An enclosed fireplace with an electric blower to diffuse the heat outward into the room is quite efficient.”


    And it will also distribute the toxins from the ink and glue.

    You win the Darwin Award daily.

  5. Most warehouses have stock cartons of various sizes to ship their inventory. They can’t have an employee make custom sizes for that perfect fit. It’s just too expensive. Sometimes an employee will use a container that’s too big, then make up the difference with packing material. Speed is more importance than material cost. Unless they’re using their own pallets and/or containers or trucks, there’s little incentive to pay close attention to saving space. That’s the carrier’s problem, who is paid by weight anyway at an average rate/volume rate.
    Please remember also that the post office requires a minimum flat size of 3×5″, making some tiny objects look lost in an envelope.

  6. It does take a genius to know that one can take cardboard, cut it up and burn it with logs in the fireplace in winter time to warm the home. An enclosed fireplace with an electric blower to diffuse the heat outward into the room is quite efficient. A genius will cut up tree limbs in his own yard and collect those left at the curb by those that dont burn firewood in winter. A genius will go to the county park which cuts up logs and limbs and gives them away to the public for firewood.

  7. Items being shipped should not be “loose” inside of the container to avoid shifting of the center of mass during transit or handling which could result in damage or personal injury. Lifting a box and suddenly having contents shift around inside can result in dropping the box and damaging the contents, spraining or breaking a wrist, a twisted back, or at the very least extreme difficulty in holding onto the package. Anyone who has ever tried to pick up a squirming toddler should be able to sympathize.

    The newer ‘airbag’ style of packaging uses very small amounts of material compared to previous versions such as styrofoam and is easier to create and dispose of thereby being significantly better for the environment.

    But maybe I’ve taken this more seriously than intended.

  8. I ordered a small bottle of a special glue used by model builders from Amazon. It is CA glue and came in a 1 oz. plastic bottle. The box it came was as big as a shoebox.

  9. Wow, this is one of my pet peeves! Some of the excessive packaging can be traced to the Tylenol killings in the early 1980’s. We were living in Chicago @ the time. Thanks a lot James Lewis..allegedly.

  10. “but inks and glues that can give off toxic fumes so by all means burn them indoors.”

    lol. Overpopulation is also a problem.

  11. “Dont throw this trash in the dumpster. If you cant recycle then at least burn it– in he winter, in your fireplace and be warm.”

    Yeah. Despite the fact that in most jurisdictions burning your trash is illegal and that boxes are more than just paper, but inks and glues that can give off toxic fumes so by all means burn them indoors. Genius.


    I like that model, Berliner. Maybe we should borrow it. We certainly need to do something to cut down on excess packaging here. It’s an embarrassingly ridiculous problem.

  12. Actually here in Germany there is no special *tax* on packaging, it’s a license fee they pay one of several private for-profit companies to deal (collect at the consumer, transport, sort, recycle/burn/etc) with their packaging (they could theoretically do it themselves, but subcontracting is more practical).
    These license fees reflect of course, purely by market forces, the amount and recyclability of the packaging.

    That producers try to come up with the least and best recyclable packaging possible, once the legislator made clear that the ultimate disposal of packaging is *their* responsibility, is capitalism red in tooth and claw…

  13. I get my mail at a UPS Store. Why? Because my mail was being stolen. So, when I receive a box of goods every once in a while, I can give the box and the wrapping celluloyd right over to the store and they can recycle it. They have many out mailing customers standing right there looking for boxes and wrappers. Dont throw this trash in the dumpster. If you cant recycle then at least burn it– in he winter, in your fireplace and be warm.

  14. This marketing approach shifts costs the cities and states which have to deal with mountains of waste.”

    Which means the taxpayers of those cities and states take a hit for something they did not do and something they do not want.

    But all of this garbage does not make it to a landfill, rather they make it to the great gyres in the five oceans where there are five garbage continents:

    The first traces of plastic debris have been found in what was thought to be the pristine environment of the Southern Ocean, according to a study released in London by the French scientific research vessel Tara.

    The finding comes following a two-and-a-half-year, 70,000-mile voyage by the schooner across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian Oceans, to investigate marine ecosystems and biodiversity under climate change.

    “We had always assumed that this was a pristine environment, very little touched by human beings,” said Chris Bowler, scientific co-ordinator of Tara Oceans. “The fact that we found these plastics is a sign that the reach of human beings is truly planetary in scale.”

    Samples taken from four different stations at locations in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica revealed traces of plastic at a measure of approximately 50,000 fragments per square kilometre — a rate comparable to the global average.

    (New Continent Found – Garbage Gyre II). One of those garbage gyres is twice the size of Texas.

    The Deepwater Horizon graveyard is leaking oil again, most likely from the bent riser pipe according to BP officials.

    The ocean is being slowly poisoned by packaged “civilization”.

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