Today is Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day! From the individually wrapped banana (say WHAT?!?) to the over packaged e-commerce item, today is a day to point out the craziest packaging you’ve seen. Let’s look at some ways to avoid humiliation.

Simple ways to avoid the Preposterous Packaging offenders list:

  1. Avoid Over Packaging. Over packaging is one of the worst ways to be preposterous. Businesses waste time and money using unnecessary packaging. Paper packaging offers alternatives to over packaging in many markets:
    • E-Commerce Shipping Bags: I recently received this shipment of 4 batteries … and I couldn’t keep a straight face when I opened the package. Preposterous! Paper shipping bags are ideal for shipping lightweight items (like batteries!!!!) that don’t need a box. Customers will be delighted that you aren’t taking up space in their recycle bins with a bulky cardboard box. “Thinking outside the box” also saves on shipping costs now that shipping companies like UPS and FedEx charge for the amount of space you take up in the truck as well as the package weight. Shipping bags also eliminate costly void fill like packing peanuts and bubble wrap.
    • Single-Use Paper Bags: Instead of plastic bags that often end up littering waterways and hanging from trees. Give your customers a paper bag that they can recycle or compost when they’re finished with it. Paper bags come in a variety of sizes, shapes and strengths so they can be used for jewelry stores, pharmacies, retail shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.
    • Food Packaging: Ditch the styrofoam or cardboard clamshell for your burger and fries. Instead use grease-resistant paper bags that are not only less expensive but are biodegradable and more environmentally responsible. The same goes for popcorn bags and other food items.
  2. Get a Second Opinion: If you’re a new company or thinking of making a packaging switch, ask people outside of your circle to review it. Send to a few valued customers to get their feedback. Don’t be a #packagingfail (but do check out the Instagram photos that pop up if you have some extra time – it’s good for a few laughs).
  3. Keep it Simple: In a world where everything seems more complicated than it needs to be, choose to make your customers’ day easier. Avoid using packaging that is difficult to open. Don’t let them break another pair of scissors opening a blister pack if there is an easier option. Customers who cut their hand opening your product are less likely to buy it again!

On a more serious note, today is a day where poking fun at packaging poppycock is also an opportunity to make a difference. Let companies know that their packaging is preposterous – and encourage them to reevaluate their packaging. Sensible and sustainable packaging is not only more environmentally friendly but provides an improved customer experience.