KFRT's Packaging Hell, Pt II


Packaging in America is funny. There's a competition somewhere here, and I'm not sure if the goal is to piss off the consumer the most, or see who can waste the most raw material.

Here is Part II. I recently purchased a video card "cooler" from Newegg, a well known Internet store that sells just about everything in the way of "consumer tech." This cooler consisted of two fans, a heat sink and a small syringe of thermal compound (which I really didn't need).

Problem 1: These three items were shipped from three different warehouses; one in NJ, one in Memphis and one in CA. This increased my shipping costs, I'm sure, but also increased the wasteful packaging by a bunch. Cool they all arrived the same day, though.

May I direct your attention to package #2:

This package measures about 10x5x8 inches, or about 400 cubic inches. Let's unpack it! Inside is the usual fluff:

Remove the paper and we're left with bubble pack:

Toss the bubble pack, and we have the product, in a Ziploc bag:

Here's the box and the syringe of "Arctic Silver 5.":

This is what we ordered:

And, this is what it came in:

I would estimate that volumetrically, the syringe is about a cubic inch. This gives us a packaging to product volume ratio of 400:1.

How about weight? My postal scale says the syringe weighs about 0.2 oz. The tube itself says it contains 3.5 grams of thermal compound and .2 oz would be about 5.6 grams, so with the weight of the syringe itself, this seems reasonable.

The packaging itself (without the syringe) weighs in at 7.8 ounces:

So, the packaging to product weight ratio is 39:1, or 39 times more packaging than product.

Unlike the Prilosec, most of this packaging can be reused (which is even better than recycling), but it's still wasteful.

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Page last updated 29 Dec 2009