Wretched Excess, Packaging Dept: 3.75 Pounds of Packaging for 4.5 Oz of Chocolate
TreeHugger has shown so many examples of wretched excess in packaging, but this may be a record. Matt reports on a gift of 4.5 ounces of chocolate he received, packaged in:
- 2 gel ice packs, 19 oz each (plastic willed with gel)
- 2 moisture trappers, 3 oz ttl (paper, plastic film)
- 1 large metalized plastic bubble envelope
- 1 crunch paper space holder, 2oz (heavyweight)
- 1 heavy board box, 8oz
- Chocolate box, inside riser, tissue, cups, foam protectors, celophane
Matt suggests "the Irresponsible Packaging Awards, IPA's. Like the Razzies are the counterpoint to the Oscars, it's something that might shed light on an industry that seems totally unregulated, and should be clocked as what it is, a major drain on our resources, energy, and planet."
But I think there is more to this than just excess packaging..
The Dulce De Leche candies are from Harry and David, head office Medford, Oregon, a big mail-order house. The chocolates are branded LV Chocolatier of Atlanta, Georgia, but the Harry and David website says that they are made in Argentina.
So really, the packaging isn't excessive at all, it is exactly what you would need if you were going to do something as stupid as airfreight delicate chocolates halfway around the world and then try to keep them from melting while you shipped them across the country. And no doubt there is a chocolatier not far from Matt's place that whips up terrific Dulce De Leche and sells them for less than $ 24.95 a box, plus shipping.
For hundreds of years, cocoa was shipped in bags and made into candies near where they were eaten. That's not good enough for the convenience of mailorder and online ordering; now it is centralized and globalized, all depending on cheap airfreight. But as we have noted many times (see Stop Eating Fossil Fuels, Start Eating Food and Lessons From Eyjafjallajökull: Air Freight Is Going To Kill Us All ..., this is not sustainable, and with the climbing price of fuel, it is soon not going to be very economical.
I think Matt should relax and enjoy his Argentinian chocolates; I don't think they are going to be doing things this way for much longer.
Image credit: Matt Murphy
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