packaging - because ten into one doesn't go

3 August 2010

Where are we at with's wasteful packaging? We've lost track of the avid Bitterwallet reader's opinion - whether there's still a mild whiff of outrage, or most of you are quite happy to screw the planet and spunk as much packaging up the wall as possible.

Regardless, we're reasonably Play can do better than this, and so is avid Bitterwallet reader Andrew, who is of the considered opinion that a box could have fitted ten printer cartridges - not just the one:

Bitterwallet - more packaging FAIL from Play

TOPICS:   Advertising   High Street News


  • The B.
    Pah, they did that to me the other week, I ordered 5 photo keyrings (pink as per HUKD) and they turned separately packed, each in a huge box which would have take at least 12 of the buggers. Needless to say, I burned down their Cambridge offices I was so appalled. Really though, these are minimum wage staff working in warehouses, what do you expect?
  • Mark
    I believe companies such as Play have contracts with Post Office/Couriers based on so many deliveries of a certain box size, so doing this sort of thing actually works out cheaper for them. Doesn't excuse the wastage of course. Play certainly aren't the only culprit - It was a while ago now, but i think this one came to me from
  • Nobby
    Stick it in the compost bin or recycle it. It would cost them more if they had to have a large selection of boxes available so that products are just snug.
  • Hugh J.
    Really interesting.
  • Leewom
    I had 3 SD Cards through in 3 seperate boxes, was a complete waste of resources and the only reason why I had to collect them from the post office. One would have fitted through but it had an elastic band around it... maybe it was my post man being a little special but the box to memory card ration was very silly.
  • Stewie G.
    Pointless news
  • Darren
    The point being, as Nobby said, its not the size of the packaging, because I am sure you can recycle it. but they should look at grouping packages together!
  • crap
    what a shit story
  • Mark
    Remember Play are not based within the EU. Two Canon ink cartridges delivered together would exceed £18 and be liable for VAT and import tax...
  • Palmface
    @Stewie Griffin Pointless bitterwallet reader. It never fails to amaze me, the number of thick as shit cretins on here who don't understand understand what a consumer blog is, and the issues it would by it's nature be addressing. Of course, if you want to attempt to offer up a good explanation of why this story is pointless news for a consumer blog, I'm up for a laugh.
  • Ben
    In a slightly related bit of news, I found a bonanza ink company yesterday morning called "stinkink". Their official cartirdges were cheaper than eBay knockoffs, and they did high capacity cartridges, too, so I thought I'd give them a go. They arrived this morning, with 50 free 6x4 blanks, some pens, and free post bags for cartridge recycling. Now that's good customer service. bearing in mind ink is more expensive than Nazi gold, I'm well happy with their service.
  • The B.
    Brian here. WTF??? Is dis for real???
  • Tatter
    The reason is that the package must be worth less that £18 to escape custom tax. hence two separate boxes. That said a Jiffy bag would have been enough instead of a box.
  • lastnightadj
    I would expect that the reason for the printer cartridges being sent in two separate boxes is due to the threshold of £18 being the maximum amount for a single package being sent to the mainland from the Channel Islands without VAT having to be added ( are based in Jersey). As to the sizes of the boxes I couldn't possibly comment on!
  • The B.
    Tatter, I'm pretty sure that's not the reason.
  • Gob
    I had a USB cable from them that came in the same size box as the one shown, it could comfortable have held at least 4 of them. Surely the price they pay for shipping would be less if they used the correct size boxes, and they could pass those savings on to the customers.
  • Groundhog D.
    Apparently, if it's over £18, you could be liable for Tax as they are based in the Channel Islands. So they ship seperately. Have you heard this before?
  • Bunk
    it's true, i bought an xbox from there once for £180 and they chopped into into ten pieces to post it
  • -]
    Being able to recycle/compost is a bit of a red herring. Sure you can do, but the boxes still took resources to be produced and then had to be shipped from source to destination. Imagine if everyone used packaging 10x the size required. All those extra trucks on the streets, trains on tracks and planes in the sky just to accommodate. Really great for the environment, innit...
  • Mr G.
    I'm ordering the Lego Taj Mahal from them. Lets see them pack each piece separately.
  • Nobby
    > Surely the price they pay for shipping would be less if they used the correct size boxes, Not necessarily. They might pay a flat rate per box up to a certain size, or dependent only on weight (again up to a certain size box).
  • Nobby
    @ -] It is not just down to volume, but also weight. If a courier is limited by weight (ie. they have large volume containers but with a weight restriction), then they don't really care how big each box is, so long as the total weight of the parcels is under their safety threshold. They will probably have free volume even though they are "full" due to the weight restriction. It is only if the volume of their container is small but can carry large weights that they care about the size of the boxes going in.
  • -]
    Of course, and if every supplier, distributor, retailer etc started to do what play (and amazon & a few other net retailers) do then soon it is the exact opposite situation - loads of underweight (but overpacked) vans going out. Bad for the environment, bad for postage costs for all, including the couriers other companies. It's a very individualistic way of doing business. "We can just chuck a load of oversized boxes out, the couriers have the spare (weight) capacity". Far too short-sighted.
  • -]
    *couriers other customers.
  • Stewie G.
    I would argue with you palmface boy but you don't appear to speak English.
  • Palmface
    Oh I do Stewie, it just clearly goes over your head.
  • Mr M.
    @ -] How's it bad for the environment you lilly liver environmentalist nonce
  • -]
    More trucks on the road to carry oversized boxes = more fuel burned. More resources used to produce the massive boxes in the first place. The term is lily-livered. A nonce is a sex offender, quite an apt choice for you what with you being on the numbers.
  • Jimbo
    @palmface the problem is that BW keep submitting this same story over and over, like it's somehow news. we know play do this and we know why.. to evade tax? so where's the story?
  • Tiny
    It's not the size it's what you do with it that counts
  • laura s.
    so glad someone agrees with how wastefull it is :/ I ordered a flash drive and it came in this!

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