Monday, June 2, 2008

Over packaging causes stress

You ever buy stuff that comes in that thick plastic packaging you could never get open without first hurting yourself? Grrr! That is so frustrating. I bought a 2-pack of sippy cups for the baby. His old ones were falling apart and he is growing so I thought, hey, while I'm out I'll just pick up some new cups. Well, it just happens that I was out longer than expected without a drink or snack for the child so I figured, hey why not use the new cups. We stopped at my least favorite place, McDonalds (or any fast food restaurant for that matter) to wash the cups with warm water and fill them up with either apple juice or milk.

But first I had to get through the plastic wrapper surrounding the cups. Initially I thought the cardboard across the top was holding the plastic together, so I removed that, it was a chore. Then I was met by the toughest darn plastic wrapper ever. I sat in the parking lot of this dreaded place for about 15 minutes trying to use my keys, the tiny kid scissors in my daughters to-go play box, a pen...nothing was working for me today. I was about ready to toss the whole thing in the nearest dumpster and call it a day. I'm sure to the innocent onlookers I must have appeared a bit wacky. They probably did an about face when the saw me coming and ran the other way.

I finally dug my teeth into a little corner and ripped a hole which I was able to expand with my hands. I ended up with a few minor scratches, more stress then I cared to deal with, whiny kids in the back and by now I needed more than just a clear drink, a stiff drink would have been more calming. Of course, it's just McDonalds and it was three in the afternoon and I was driving so I had to settle for a diet coke--it wasn't very good but the ice helped to cool me off. The kids each got their iced apple juice and all was well.

I have a problem with packaging that can not be manipulated because I'm sure this garbage will sit in our landfill for eons. I mean, we're talking about 2 hard sippy cups which will be thrown everywhere so they need to be and are hardy, why the over protection. On the other hand, you can buy a light bulb packaged in a thin, flimsy, cardboard cube...nothing to it. Makes no sense to me.

I think many of the companies out there that love to over protect the things we buy with excess packaging should consider helping to protect the environment by reducing the amount of hard plastic they use and/or using recycled and recyclable material. I guess in the mean time I'll have to keep a pair scissors in the car for future use or better yet, I'll just avoid buying over packaged things if at all possible. One can at last try, right?!