|When excess packaging is removed, this Sephora box looks way too large.|
I ordered from Sephora a few days ago and received my package promptly. The box was a bit overly large, though not as bad as some other orders I have received. There was a lot of packing paper on top of the items ordered and then some bubble wrap under the items.
|Not that big of a box.|
What struck me the most about this order though, was the amount that cosmetics and skincare companies continue to overpackage their products. I’m not sure if this is just to attract attention on overcrowded shelves (I have even seen people complain online that packaging on a particular cosmetics item wasn’t “pretty” enough) or if it’s to justify their high prices, but it really should be dialed back. Most of the products that have a ton of packaging don’t actually need it (ie. they’re not breakable, etc.).
For instance, I ordered a Boscia facial cleansing sponge. The sponge is quite small, about three inches in diameter and maybe an inch or slightly higher in height. However, the package that it came in was far, far bigger and made of hard plastic. The sponge wasn’t breakable and it was already wrapped in shrink-wrap too, so all of this plastic packaging seems very wasteful and unnecessary. Yes, it’s recyclable, but it’s a waste, so it should not exist in the first place (and the instructions printed on the plastic could have been printed on a little slip of paper to go with a shrink-wrapped sponge).
|A big plastic package for a tiny sponge.|
|This package is ridiculously large and unnecessary since the sponge is already wrapped in plastic.|
I also ordered some Bite Beauty lipsticks that were on sale. I had forgotten the packaging that this lipstick came in as I had not bought one in quite a while. I opened the box thinking that I had received the wrong lipstick because the size and shape of the box were so different than my lipstick. But it was my lipstick. It was in a box at least two times bigger than necessary. I have blogged more than once about how I think that items like mascara and lipstick should just have a safety seal or maybe shrink-wrap around them and no box to reduce packaging. I stand by this.
|Three lipsticks, three unnecessary boxes.|
|When one opens a box one finds the lipstick and then tons of empty space and a cardboard spacer.|
|The box is way bigger than the lipstick tube.|
|What a waste of cardboard.|
Then there’s the matter of samples. With each Sephora order one receives three samples. But I also received a gift bag packed with a ton of other samples as a bonus. Plus, I ordered a 100 point sample of hair detangler (this was just in a bottle with no unnecessary box). The samples were all sparely packaged except for the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, which had a glass and plastic vial and then a folded cardboard jacket which I thought overly large.
|The Bumble & Bumble sample had too much packaging.|
|That's a huge jacket of cardboard for such a small vial.|
I have talked before on this blog about “free” makeup or cosmetics bags and samples (you can find the links here and here and here and here and here). Many women (and some men too) end up with way too many free makeup or cosmetics bags from buying cosmetics and/or skincare products over the years and receiving these as a bonus or “free” item (really these are probably built into the price of the products sold by the company). A lot of these bags probably end up as garbage or collecting dust. I have also seen a lot in thrift shops. Even with giving away these bags or repurposing or reusing them for other things like packing (see my blog post) I still have way more than I ever needed.
|Naturally, the cosmetics bag comes wrapped in a plastic bag and tissue paper. That makes sense!|
|Garbage before one even makes it to the cosmetics bag.|
|The tiny samples definitely don't need such a large package.|
|All the samples around the cosmetics bag that they came in.|
|The other samples added to the bonus samples and the 100 point sample show just how many things I didn't pay for in this order and how much more garbage and recycling there will be out of this order in the end.|
|Excellent packaging. No excess box.|
When I removed all of the unnecessary packaging from the products that I ordered and put them back in the box from Sephora, there was so much more empty space. What a waste. If we keep heading in this direction, we’re going to be left drowning in a huge pile of recycling, without the resources to process it.
|These are all empty packages and the paper and plastic and cardboard from just this one Sephora order before I've even used anything. So, after I use up things there will be even more waste.|
|A much smaller box or bubble mailer envelope could have been used for this tiny amount of stuff if packaging had been less to begin with.|
|Let's reduce packaging.|