80 Facepalm-Worthy Packaging Fails That Really Had No Reason To Be That Wasteful (New Pics)

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In this day and age, finally, more and more people are realizing that all that plastic, paper, and everything else that encases the items we buy, ends up in a landfill somewhere. Let’s face it, this amount of plastic waste is not good for the environment or anyone else. Many businesses are coming around to this idea. But a few seem stuck in the past.

The “Egregious Packaging” online community exists to name and shame companies that insist on massive paper and plastic waste. We got in touch with Kathryn Kellogg from Goingzerowaste.com to learn more. So get comfortable as you scroll through, upvote your favorites, and be sure to comment your thoughts below. 

#1 Individually Wrapped Lemon Slices

Image credits: andreayenchen

#2 My Chef Saved $2.50/300 Units If They Come Individually Wrapped. So I Spent The First Hour Of My Shift Unwrapping Them

Image credits: LittleBitCrunchy

#3 Ordered 5 Nail Polishes From Amazon

Image credits: 22trenchcoats

Bored Panda got in touch with Kathryn Kellogg, founder of Goingzerowaste.com and she was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Firstly, we wanted to know what exactly is the harm in waste from packaging. 

“The materials used to package our items all have an environmental impact. For example, to make plastic, the raw material crude oil must be extracted from the earth in an unsustainable manner, usually through fracking. Then it must undergo processing in a fossil fuel-powered factory where it is transformed into moldable plastic. Next, it must be shipped to warehouses or stores, which typically requires gas-powered trucks to transport.”

#4 More Single Use Plastic Please

Image credits: darklilly101

#5 Pure Absurdity

Image credits: wanderingmoor

#6 Since Oranges Don’t Have A Natural Packaging

Image credits: snortgiggles

“All these factors have a high carbon footprint. Not to mention the end of life of our packaging, especially plastic, is another thing to consider. Only 5-6% of plastic is recycled while the rest ends up in our environment or in landfills. So when we can reduce packaging waste, I think it’s important to do so,” she shared. 

#7 I Was Worried When I Noticed I Had A Damaged Package Outside. Turns Out It Wasn’t An Issue

Image credits: Tidgexe

#8 For F**k’s Sake

Image credits: Jayscones

#9 47,785ml Of Packaging For 5.4ml Of Product. These Boxes All Came From The Same Warehouse Together

Image credits: bismuth17

Given the downsides, we were curious to hear her opinion on why companies still insisted on acting this way. “Some of it has to do with cost: It’s cheaper to buy virgin plastic than recycled, for example. But another factor for brands is keeping up with trends and marketing. Brands want to be unique and catch your eye, and one way they can do that is through packaging.”

#10 These “Biosmart” Straws That Come In A Plastic Bag, With Smaller Plastic Bags Inside For Each Individual Color

Image credits: VetmitaR

#11 Amazon Put Air Pillows In With My Shipment Of Bubble Wrap

Image credits: NamelessGuy0

#12 A Presentation Case For A Single Tube Of Toothpaste. It’s Recyclable, Forgetting That They Could Just Not

Image credits: HereComesCunty

“Sometimes, this leads to excessive, over-the-top choices. Also, if they are selling their products through a third party, like Amazon, sometimes they don’t have control over how their products are shipped and packaged,” she shared with Bored Panda. One reason to keep shaming companies is the simple fact that they tend to just not keep their own word. Despite pledges to reduce plastic waste, every single big company that has made these promises has also failed to actually implement them. The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle SA, and PepsiCo are some of the largest plastic polluters in the world. 

#13 “Gift Of Nothing” Is The Gift Of Egregious Packaging

Image credits: Mobeus

#14 Seen At Target – 2 Apple Slices X 6 Plastic Bags, In A Plastic Box

Image credits: Lance_stole_my_blood

#15 Two Sleeves Of Pills Came In The Box Of 10

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Many of these same companies actually obstruct attempts by governmental and NGO efforts to limit plastic waste. So the excessive plastic seen here is just one symptom of a larger issue, where large companies are willing to flood the planet with disposable plastic just to get a slightly better bottom line. Naming and shaming is the least any of us can do. 

#16 Individually Packaged Slices Of Bread

Image credits: throwawayGrofer

#17 Literally W H Y

Image credits: ants-in-my-plants

#18 Some Sort Of Chip My Coworker Received

Image credits: Shaldoz

So we wanted to know what else people could do at home. “A simple swap everyone can do to cut down on plastic waste is just ordering less takeout. Takeout containers often come in plastic, and with smaller plastic packets (think ketchup pouches, soy sauce holders, etc.) and can be hard to recycle. Always check with your local guidelines first of course before wishcycling these items. Going to a restaurant or eating at home more is a simple way to reduce plastic waste and use up what’s in your fridge. Try incorporating one or two more home-cooked meals into your week than you already do: It’s okay to prep it ahead of time too, if that’s easier.”

#19 Over Packaging A Laptop Charge Cord

Image credits: Odd-Minute4553

#20 This Tin Of Individually Wrapped Assorted Jelly Beans I Got As A Gift

Image credits: LittleBitCrunchy

#21 Ordered A Wood Comb To Avoid Using Plastic. No Luck From A Company Ironically Named Healthandyoga.com

Image credits: atabamba

“You can reach out to companies and brands about their packaging. Write them an email expressing what you love about their product, then go into their packaging and explain why it’s a problem. Maybe they’re using excessive packaging, or it’s hard to recycle plastic packaging. Whatever it is, be honest. You may inspire them to change their packaging for the better!”

#22 17-Inch Box For A 2-Inch Item, Including Whole Printed Spiel That It Was “Thoughtfully Packaged” To “Reduce Impact”

Image credits: Aquillyne

#23 Wasteful Packaging Should Be A Crime

Image credits: LittleBitCrunchy

#24 Why Individually Package Them In Plastic 2 Packs When They’re Already Wrapped??

Image credits: DrakeFloyd

While paper waste is downright annoying, plastic waste is considerably worse. After all, paper can and will break down over time, as anyone who has left a cardboard box in the rain can attest to. Plastic, on the other hand, generally refuses to cooperate and will be around for a long, long time

Interestingly, even though it does appear that the combination of shopping and excessive packaging would be the main culprit in terms of plastic waste, this is not actually the case. Packaging only accounts for 5% of municipal solid waste in the United States. While the examples here are extreme, it’s worth noting that many companies have adopted more eco-friendly packaging. 

#25 Not Sure What The Point Of The Plastic Wrapping Is… What A Waste

Image credits: atrebor202

#26 Forgot About This Gem…this Was 12 Years Ago But I Believe That Was About An 18-In Ruler And It Was Absolutely The Only Thing In That Box

Image credits: bitch_taco

#27 I Was Delighted When Ca Started Free Lunches At School. Early Dismissal Means I’m Seeing It For The First Time And Am Now Horrified

Image credits: BrownFieldMouse

Unfortunately, a lot of plastic waste is generated by the sorts of things that we don’t see. It’s a lot easier to shame a business for wrapping bananas in plastic bags than it is to call out agricultural companies for the sorts of irrigation pipes they use. Of course, this doesn’t mean that companies should be let off the hook just because someone else is polluting more. 

#28 Last Time It Came In An Envelope

Image credits: Aperture0Science

#29 This Box Was For One Little Ds Game

Image credits: JinnDaAllah

#30 Can’t Be Too Careful!

Image credits: JonnieD152002

Some might argue that, due to recycling, plastic waste isn’t, ultimately, that bad. In a perfect world, they would be right. However, in reality, roughly 9% of all the plastic we produce is recycled, the rest is incinerated or just waiting around to biodegrade, a process that will take way too long to even consider. 

The good news is that biodegradable plastics do exist. However, they aren’t the silver bullet many of us would prefer. For one, they may produce methane gas when decomposing, which is sort of counterproductive on the face of things. Still, they at least can be gotten rid of, while traditional plastic might outlive the pyramids. 

#31 Giant Box To Ship Five 4×6 Photos

Image credits: technohippie

#32 Excuse Me Sir But There Was A Devastating Lack Of Non Environmentally Safe Packaging, Don’t To Worry I Fixed It. Be More Careful Next Time

Image credits: Basket_Records

#33 Why? For What Reason? To What Possible Advantage?

Image credits: derek139

#34 Hannaford Supermarket Hoping To Sell You *a* Donut

Image credits: MrShazbot

#35 Ridiculous

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#36 First Time Purchasing From This Brand In Over Five Years And I Was Appalled By Their New(?) Packaging

Image credits: SmokeMoreWorryLess

#37 This Nail Polish Probably Felt Like It Pulled Up In A Rolls-Royce

Image credits: uhaulcrumb

#38 All For One Book

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#39 Icy Hot

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#40 Just Ordered A 140cm Shower Bar… Maybe I Ordered The Entire Bathroom

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#41 Change Wiper Blades On Two Vehicles And Win This Pile Of Bs!

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#42 The Box And What It Was Used For. Ordered From An Ink Supplier

Image credits: SomeKindaMonstur

#43 This Potato I Found For Sale At Walmart Earlier. It’s Just A Regular Potato. You Can Microwave Those Anyways

Image credits: RottenCherry123

#44 All This Space Just For A Scoop

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#45 This Is Just Infuriating

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#46 Each Brownie-Butterscotch Bite Inside The Tray Was Individually Packed

Image credits: Max_McZapp

#47 Individually Plastic Wrapped Chocolates In A Plastic Bag

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#48 Wait, Why Wrap Compostable Poo Bags In Plastic?

Image credits: writercanyoubeaghost

#49 This Microphone Preamp Came In A Absurdly Large Box

Image credits: Cowfwee

#50 A Little Bottle And A Tiny Other Thing

Image credits: Aria_Swan

#51 Way Too Much Packaging For Some Batteries ?‍♂️

Image credits: konigswagger

#52 The Tomato Aisle In My Local Grocery Store Made Me Sad

Image credits: reddit.com

#53 This Is The Packaging For 8 Serving Utensils From Crate And Barrel. (Banana For Scale)

Image credits: potatollamapie

#54 “Eco-Box” Wrapped In Plastic

Image credits: ThyfaultTime

#55 All This For Some Spirit Gum :/

Image credits: Substantial_War289

#56 The Box For My PC’s Cpu

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#57 Just Got A Pair Of Headphones, Why Is The Box So Big

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#58 Pixy Stix

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#59 Every Damn Fork Was Individually Wrapped

Image credits: Sad-Sector-7829

#60 This Needlessly Large Packaging For A 20mm Sized Micro Sd Card

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#61 All This Plastic For Just 5 Toothbrush Heads

Image credits: howtheeffdidigethere

#62 This Briefcase Sized Toothbrush Head Pack

Image credits: charles7tang

#63 “Eco Friendly” Soft Toys All Individually Wrapped In Single Use Plastic

Image credits: coke_with_sugar

#64 Somehow Both Too Much And Not Enough

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#65 A Fanny Pack

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#66 So Much Damn Packaging For Only 42 Pills. The Sheets Were In The Smaller Boxes Which Were Then In The Big Box

Image credits: handful_of_ants

#67 All Of This For One Purse. (Cat For Scale)

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#68 All This S**t Just For A Switch Game

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#69 One Medium Dog Food Tray, Humongous Box

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#70 Included A Lipstick In A Target Pick-Up Order. They Said It Was Out Of Stock Locally, But They Could Mail Me One

Image credits: rice_and_toast

#71 Too Much Package For 3 ‘Gourmet’ Cookies. Found At Sams Club

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#72 A Bag With A Box Of 2 Packs Of 2 Individually Wrapped Chocolate Bars

Image credits: Swizzletits

#73 A Single Circular Barbell (Butter Knife For Scale)

Image credits: Time_Scale_8389

#74 Arby’s Gave Me 4 Fry Containers

Image credits: ThotsFired69

#75 Bought 2 Vinyl Records. One Came In A Normal Slim Cardboard Sleeve, The Other Came Like This

Image credits: Siamese-Celerystick

#76 Got My Battery Today From Amazon. They Didn’t Even Add Bubble Wrap Or Craft Paper

Image credits: Nruggia

#77 The Box Was 10 Times Too High

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#78 Was The Paper Seriously Supposed To Keep The Two Items From Moving Around In This Huge Box?

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#79 One Pack Of 18 Mm Coverslips For Microscope Slides

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#80 Ordered Two Lightbulbs. One Came In This Box. The Other Came In A Normal Sized Box

Image credits: uglyperson101

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