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Do we really need all this waste?

We love Amazon. We frequently use it as a paradigm of excellence. The range of products you can buy, the speed with which it delivers, and its prices are all exemplary. There is, however, something that niggles. What are Amazon's green credentials? Surely it doesn't make sense for a white van to deliver one small box with hair colour die, on its own, in less than 24 hours of ordering. Think of all the fuel required for this simple task. Think also of the amount of cardboard and paper that is used in this simple task. Some of it is surely excessive.

The other day we ordered three tubs of fat balls for the birds. Our birds love these treats and they devour them so quickly we have to order new supplies every couple of months. These tubs of fat balls are heavy and it is a wonderful service to have them delivered to our door. In this latest delivery we were amazed and concerned by the amount of paper that was stuffed around the tubs in the box. When we uncrunched the paper and laid it in a line, it measured over 40 feet. It was surely excessive for protecting fat balls which are already well protected in plastic tubs and in a cardboard box.

Online purchasing and white van deliveries have been a boon over this last 18 months. The trend was there before the pandemic and it has accelerated since. We have adopted a new behaviour which is likely to grow still faster. There are some savings in the green equation as we don’t need to get into our cars to go shopping. However, against this, the white vans zigzag throughout our cities and suburbs and the amount of card and paper that is used is phenomenal.

Customer satisfaction is a delicate equation. There must surely be a point at which we say for all the convenience of buying online, we can’t tolerate the waste it generates. We haven’t reached that tipping point yet but we will eventually. Amazon take note.


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