By Promod Puri
The other day for a nostalgic childhood recreation, I bought a medium-size kite from Amazon. The order got delivered within a couple of days. It was a cardboard package double the size of a large pizza box. Inside the box, there was another slim plastic case containing the rolled-up kite along with the string.
While I was delighted for the efficient and quick delivery to get myself into the gone-by flying sport, the spacious packaging intrigued me. Why such an extra-large box where the plastic case inside must be sliding from side to side?
Overpacked and over-wrapped, packaging poses an environmental issue?
As we are concerned about plastic pollution, cardboard is no less culprit in damaging our environment. Instead, it produces more emissions in production than plastic. Since it is heavier, cardboard packaging costs more on transportation, resulting in higher vehicle emissions and fuel charges.
According to Greenpeace, globally, 4 billion trees are cut down to make paper every year – the equivalent of 1% of the Amazon Rainforest.
Paper production is also a water-intensive and polluting industry. The World Wide Fund says it takes five litres of water to create one sheet of paper.
A forest conservation organization, Canopy, reports that more than half the paper produced globally gets turned into packaging, with 241 million tons of shipping boxes, cardboard mailers, and void-fill wrappers, and other paper-based packaging made yearly.
Yes, cardboard is biodegradable, but according to a report, only 53% of it ends up in recycling bins, and even less is recycled.
With the year-on-year growth of e-commerce sales, packaging volumes are touching the sky. With that, my highflying simple pleasure, the extra-large kite packaging, turned into an environmental concern.