Amazon Takes On Excess Packaging

Going green — By on September 10, 2010 at 5:31 am

open clamshell packaging 270 Amazon Takes On Excess PackagingOnline retail giant Amazon.com is tackling one of the biggest consumer issues, other than defective merchandise: excess packaging!  With the holiday season quickly approaching, I can say that I would be so grateful if we could do away with clamshell packaging once and for all!

Trying to actually access the item locked away inside one of those diabolical packages is one of the most frustrating things for parents and kids alike.  Not to mention how wasteful it is to create all that plastic that usually is not recyclable…

According to the New York Times Service, Amazon has been working with manufacturers for the past two years to get them to eliminate excess packaging in favor of more consumer- and eco-friendly wrapping.  Noting that frustrating packaging is one of Amazon’s predominant sources of consumer complaints, they are setting out to encourage manufacturers to ditch bubble wrap and plastic cases in favor of cardboard boxes and paper sleeves.

But change of this magnitude will be slow to occur.

A mere 600 of the millions of products on Amazon’s virtual shelves are available in “frustration-free” packaging.

Unfortunately, the resistance of other online outfits like WalMart.com and Target.com to use the new packaging – when it is available – means that, for now, Amazon is the only retailer demanding the changes on behalf of its customers.

When you’re not ordering items online, many would say that it makes sense to keep the clamshell packaging because it deters theft.  But Internet shopping doesn’t have that risk!

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Frustrated by excess packaging that is next to impossible to open?

Not only can alternative packaging save a ton of frustration for online shoppers, but it will significantly help the environment, as well as save manufacturers money.  As noted in the New York Times article:

It is simple for packaging companies to create. It is also environmentally friendly, using recycled and recyclable cardboard rather than plastic and wire ties, quicker to produce than the retail packaging and costs less.

Amazon.com’s new tactic to continue pushing to reduce excess packaging is to showcase the negative feedback for the manufacturers’ products on its site.  And its working!

Frustration-free packaging received 73% fewer customer complaints than their counterparts.

If you want to help Amazon.com lead the way to reduce waste and frustration, be sure to fill out feedback forms when you order from their website.  And, put the pressure on other online retailers to use recyclable boxes and packaging instead of plastic clamshell wrapping.

A more enjoyable gift giving season could be around the corner!  Now, if there was only a way for you to avoid going to Aunt Maude’s house for Thanksgiving….

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