Thursday, April 23, 2009


I would like to discuss plastic today. No, not the plastic of credit cards which may actually get reined in by regulation in the very near future.

I want to talk about plastic bottles. Specifically the plastic bottles we buy aspirin or vitamins in. Have you noticed that they never fill them up?

Vitamins bought at Wal-Mart and made in China are probably the worst in this regard. They are at a max half full. This really hit home recently when I ordered some vitamins on line from Swanson Health Products. The bottles were full! Not even room for cotton!

So on the average we are probably using twice the amount of plastic we have to use in order for it to look as if we are getting more for our money at Wally World. But adding twice the amount of plastic to our landfills is not just the problem. We are also paying twice as much to transport because half as much fits into a shipping container or tractor trailer rig or boxcar. So half of whatever fuel is used to move this product to our stores is also wasted.

Over-packaging is an epidemic in our country that produces enormous amount of waste. Because Swanson's does not seem to over-package I will be buying from them again. This is definitely one area that I believe we as consumers can effectively fight. Seek out those products that do not over-package or under-fill. And when you have no choice leave the excess packaging at Wal-Mart or another box store for them to deal with. They want us to bring our own green bags to save plastic but they still put DVD's in huge plastic cases, and Barbie Dolls in large cardboard boxes, and toothpaste tubes in unnecessary boxes.

So while you are sacking your products in the green bags leave the trash with the clerk to dispose of. I think they will get the message quickly. If not take your business elsewhere. Wally World is a large enough company it can force reform on the companies it deals with.