Space Invaders:

In our newest storyline, we’re digging deep (really deep) into outrageously large packages which hold the smallest items. We’ll pull back the wrapping and see exactly why these companies do what they do. Today, we’re checking out a crazy big box from Walmart.

baWe ordered just three items from the other day, expecting a small, thin box. However, we received an enormous, bulging package stuffed with enough paper wrapping to safely ship the Taj Mahal.

We found our three items safely wedged underneath the excessive paper wrapping, but this raised a very important question: why would any single company include such an exorbitant amount of packaging?

This is an age of environmentally friendly products. Including useless paper wrap in an over-sized box go against that trend. In fact, the Arkansas-based company bills itself as “environmentally sustainable.”

According to Walmart’s corporate website, “Environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. As the world’s largest retailer, our actions have the potential to save our customers money and help ensure a better world for generations to come. We’ve set three aspirational sustainability goals: 1) to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, 2) to create zero waste and, 3) to sell products that sustain people and the environment.


Amount of paper wrapping we received.

Goal #2 states that Walmart wants “to create zero waste,” but the definition of waste is “the loss of something valuable that occurs because too much of it is being used or because it is being used in a way that is not necessary or effective.” That huge box and excessive paper wrap? Definitely not necessary or effective.

We contacted Walmart about this issue and are still waiting for a response.

(Sources: Walmart, Merriam-Webster)


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