Excessive packaging hurts the planet

3 Rs

Excessive PackagingExcessive packaging. I hate it.

Last month, I asked my wife to buy me some 81 mg, low-dose aspirin. She bought me a Triple Pack, with 36 little tablets in each of the plastic containers. It occurred to me that all 108 of those pills could have fit in one of those containers. This immediately bugged me so much that I called the company and left a message. Whether anything will come of that, I don’t know.

Excessive packaging is an issue that has invigorated me for years. Another thing is that the lids/caps to many plastic containers are almost never marked with one of those numbers within a triangle. This leads me to the conclusion – probably correctly – that they are not recyclable.

Our household tries very diligently to adhere to the 3Rs of waste management. The first tenet is to reduce. LONG before the pandemic, we were eschewing paper/plastic bags. We’d utilize reusable bags or my backpack. (Carrying no bag at all is behavior a little bit more risky than I wish to engage in.)

My very artistic daughter has embraced the second tenet, to reuse. She’s often discovering unusual canvasses such as 3.5″ floppy discs and ancient CD-ROM discs, mostly software updates. Hey, we no longer have a working computer that will read them! She’s also made use of panels from cardboard boxes.

Moving nostalgia

Back in the day when I would move frequently, I was aware when grocery stores and especially liquor stores would break down their boxes for trash collection. Boxes that were designed to carry a case of booze are very strong, though not too large, ideal for packing books or LPs.

Recycling and composting create, in our own minds, a bit of competition in our minds. We almost always get our trash in a single garbage can. Some weeks we don’t bring out our recycling bin, we’ve put so little. I’m sure we can always do better, but we’re rather zealous.

Of course, there are much larger issues in terms of climate change. We have a hybrid vehicle, for instance. Still, I’m sure we can always do more. And then there’s this…