How do you feel about excessive packaging?

Hello everyone,

today is Earth’s day and even though I didn’t have the time to put together a series of posts throughout the week to celebrate it like I had originally planned (sorry about that but you can visit my friends Dao and Paris blogs for some useful eco-friendly tips 😉 ), I still wanted to take this opportunity to rant talk about something that irritates me: excessive packaging.

If I have to be honest with you, I don’t like it when lipsticks, eyeliners, eyeshadows and any other cosmetic and personal care products (doesn’t apply to sets or brushes obviously) come in boxes. I just feel they are unnecessary cos, unless the box is very pretty like the Sleek one pictured above or they have small tutorials on how to use the products printed on them, as soon as you as you get home you’re gonna take your purchases out and throw the boxes in the bin.

Of course, they can be useful cos when items come in boxes, chances are no one messed with them and used them as testers in the shops (don’t you just hate it when that happens? It’s so gross!). But even though I’d prefer it if they came unpacked, as long as it’s a small box that fits the items almost perfectly I don’t mind.

What bothers me is excessive packaging. Like the Fior di Magnolia lipstick pictured above has. As you can see, the box is much, much bigger than the lipstick itself. Not only that, but inside there also was a plastic holder to keep the lipstick in place which ended up in the bin ages ago. But why on earth would a lipstick ever need so much packaging?!

I actually spent quite a few minutes in front of the stand trying to figure out whether to get it or not. Part of me really wanted to try it, while the other felt really guilty about picking it up due to the excessive packaging. In the end, I brought it home with me even though I still feel guilty about it and would never repurchase it again for this reason alone.

Another example is the Olay Regenerist line. These products come in big plastic boxes that, from what I read online, are even hard to recycle. I usually like Olay skincare products but the packaging is really putting me off from purchasing these (my conscience is still bugging me from the Fior di Magnolia lippie, you know?), especially when it is totally unjustified. What’s all that plastic supposed to protect a moisturizer from?! No skincare products needs all that plastic around them and neither does the environment.

kiko order

Also, some online retailers pack their goods in boxes that are way too big compared to what you bought. Kiko Cosmetics is the perfect example. I bought two eyeliners, a powder and a eye makeup remover and they delivered everything in a huge box filled with polystyrene and other fillers to protect the products.

And while I appreciate they packing everything so carefully (no one wants to open a package only to find their eyeshadow broken or nail polish open right?), such a huge box was totally, completely and utterly unnecessary. The items I ordered don’t break easily and they would have filled a smaller box, so why didn’t they use that?

Doesn’t this bother you that companies use so much packaging without caring for the environment at all? Sure most of it can be recycled (I recycle everything myself), but how many people do it? Thankfully, more and more but not enough. Here where I live it took a council law for people to start recycling, for goodness’ sake! Which sadly tells a lot about Italian people. (Although not everyone is bad an irresponsible of course, there are too many who are rude and treat streets and parks like their personal trash cans. :( )

But still, wouldn’t it better if there was nothing to recycle in the first place? And what about all the plastic and other wastes that can’t be recycled at all? So much packaging wastes resources, pollutes the environment and even makes prices go up. After all, if companies didn’t bother manufacturing boxes and sent orders in smaller packages or envelopes which would cost less to send, it’s us, the consumers who would save some money.

Personally, I don’t think companies are doing themselves any favours by using all that packaging. More and more consumers are slowly starting to look for more eco-friendly products. And not just products that use natural ingredients but also those that use less packaging that can be recycled.

I, for one, know that if something I want comes excessively packaged, then I’ll think long and hard before getting it and 9 times out of 10, I’ll pass. And if so much packaging can’t even be recycled at all, then I’ll definitely skip it.

How do you feel about excessive packaging?

Like this post? Tell your friends!
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook


  1. says

    very well said gio! and i really applaud your efforts for being really environmentally conscious. The reason that I dislike excessive packaging is, the packaging will take up too much of my space and in the end i’m disposing it anyway, so it is also a wasted.

  2. says

    Excessive packaging is completely unnecessary! You know, over here in Malaysia, there are no cardboard packaging for Maybelline mascaras and the likes. They’re just sealed and I think that’s good enough.
    What really bugs me is supposedly eco-friendly brands having excessive packaging. I keep most of the boxes though just because I can’t bring myself to throwing them away
    .-= Connie´s last blog ..Review: HerCut Haircare =-.

  3. says

    I agree with everything you said, Gio! And this doesn’t just apply to cosmetics either. There’s too much packaging in general. There’s a line of prunes. It seems the company wanted to revive the popularity of prunes, so they wrapped each individual prune in plastic. Ummm, no. Bad. And water bottles. Those are bad too.
    .-= Trisha´s last blog ..Makeup Review: Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion Mascara =-.

  4. says

    I’m one of the weird people who keeps the box simply because I don’t know what to do with them. While I hate excessive packaging, sometimes I feel like people need to package their stuff well so they don’t break upon delivery. But the way people package that lipstick is outrageous! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lipstick in a box here in the U.S, unless the lipstick is a department store brand.
    .-= Dao´s last blog ..Earth Day FOTD =-.

  5. says

    I totally feel you! NYX and OCC are like that too. Though I appreciate that they wen tall that way to protect the items, its just unnecessary to pack 2-3 items in a super huge box. So most of the time, I reuse them to send out items or use them to pack stuff.

    And my gosh why would someone pack a small lipstick in such a big box? Makes no sense, lol.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..FOTD: Golden Grapes =-.

  6. beautifulwithbrains says

    Xin, thanks. I think it’s really important that each and every one of us does his/her part, albeit small that can be, to take care of the planet we live in. Every little thing helps to make the world a better place. :)

    I agree with you. Even though sometimes packaging is necessary to protect the items, most of the time it’s not needed and only results in waste. :(

  7. beautifulwithbrains says

    Connie, it’s the same here. Drugstore brands don’t come in boxes but are sealed instead and I like that. That’s why I can’t understand why some brands, mostly high-end ones, put their products in boxes. It’s completely unnessary. I understand protecting items when they are being delivered to the shops, but once they reach their destination, those boxes are just useless.

    That’s a pet peeve of mine too. How can they claim to be eco-friendly and still use so much packaging is something I’ll never understand. Do they think consumers are stupid?!

  8. beautifulwithbrains says

    Trisha, I know what prunes you are talking about. They have recently been launched here and the ads make all that packaging sound like it’s the best thing ever when it’s actually a really bad idea. What were they thinking wrapping every single one of them? That’s gonna create so much waste! I’ll never buy those prunes for that reason alone.

    You’re right, there’s too much packaging in general, which is really bad. It’s completely unnessary and the only thing it does is ruin the enviroment. I really hope most companies start to be more enviromentally conscious soon.

  9. beautifulwithbrains says

    Nikki, that’s great that you do that. More people should complain about excessive packaging and request smaller boxes. Unless you make a really big order, I don’t see why they can’t use small, regular envelopes.

  10. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao, I don’t think you’re weird. I used to keep them once but then ended up with too many I didn’t know where to put them anymore so I recycled them.

    I like when items are well and carefully packaged so you don’t receive them broken too. But I just feel like some companies tend to go overboard. There are some online stores that send any order, however small that is, in big boxes instead of small envelopes which would have fitted the items much better. That’s what irritates me the most.

    And I really don’t know what they thought putting a lippie in that huge box. I didn’t fully realise how big the box was compared to the lipstick until I got home. :(

  11. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dee, I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling like this. I think it’s outrageous when they pack small orders in huge boxes. But it’s good that you reuse them. I usually reuse the fillers when I send packages, but never the boxes. I need to start doing that too. :)

  12. says

    That’s a great article really and I’m happy you touched this theme. All the time I get samples from many brands and most of the times they put like 2-3 products in huge box. These 2-3 products are wrapped in too much paper and I’m wondering for what this huge packaging when they can just send a smaller box. :)
    .-= Tavia´s last blog ..Chantecaille Makeup Brushes for Summer 2010 =-.

  13. says

    I hate extra packaging, to be honest, and I’d love to see that more brands would offer a foolproof and eco-friendly refill system with refilling stations (this would be a GREAT idea to prevent extra waste, such a shame that I don’t have the opportunity to realise my own ideas about a cosmetic brand). :-) It’s comparable to the refilling of ink cartriges. Old package but new ink! By the way, I also recycle the fillers as I don’t know anything else to save eyeshadows etc I have to send by mail. We could wait for a new law for postal services that regulate a better handling of cosmetic products in envelopes or boxes but hey, this is utopistic. *sigh* There’s much to do in this section and maybe it’s in our hands to change the attitude of the companies…
    .-= Mylanqolia´s last blog ..The Sleek Series: Hard as Graphite =-.

  14. beautifulwithbrains says

    Tavia, thanks. And I agree. When I receive samples from brands, most of the time they come in big boxes and I can’t help but wonder why. Surely, they’d save a lot on shipping costs if they sent everything in smaller envelopes/boxes. Not to mention how much waste those boxes create.

  15. beautifulwithbrains says

    Mylanqolia, that would be a fantastic idea. I know some brands offer refills but they are not many. I would definitely be interested in something like that and I’m sure lots of others would be too. You’d still get what you want but with less waste and I guess the price would be smaller too. I think you should write to some companies and tell them your idea. If they see that lots of people are interested and they can make a lot of money from it, they’ll listen and change their attitude. :)

  16. says

    Hate it!

    I’m really, really strongly against it.

    And yeah, I think the worst offenders are the spacey wrinkle creams.
    And the 30 ml products (quite often the aforementioned wrinkle creams) packed in a 50 ml package… with lots of air between the two plastic walls.

    I guess that a lot of customers of those products/other pricier products make enough money, want to treat themselves with it… and if they get something without all the bells and whistles, they’ll think it’s not worth the price tag.
    Ana´s last blog post ..Qutub Minar TombMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge