A judgment recently published by the Judgment Document Network sent “excessive packaging” to the hot search.

The document shows that an employee of an Internet celebrity snack company took the 684,000 yuan obtained from the sale of the company’s waste cartons for himself. Some netizens calculated an account, if calculated at a price of 2,000 yuan / ton, about 342 tons of waste cartons sold in 18 months, about 19 tons per month.

Discussions about over-packaging of goods get hyped up every once in a while. In 2020, the Shanghai Municipal Administration for Market Regulation found that 12 of the 50 batches of goods were suspected of excessive packaging, especially cosmetics, with a packaging failure rate of 70%.

Under the formation of an anti-waste atmosphere in the whole society, why is it still difficult to “slim down” with excessive packaging? A reporter from the Daily Worker investigated this.

Some merchants’ packaging is “too hard”

Not long ago, Zhang Xiaoli, a white-collar worker in Beijing, grabbed a bottle of cosmetics in the live broadcast room. When receiving the express, she couldn’t help but sigh that the merchant’s packaging was “too strong”: unpack the express carton, inside is a foam paper wrapped ribbon gift box, open the gift box, unwrapping the paper, a fist-sized packaging box “lies” on a pile of shredded paper silk, and then unpack the two layers of plastic and paper, is a 30 ml glass bottle.

During the interview, the reporter found that the phenomenon of excessive packaging of goods is very common: a noodle takeaway has 4 packaging boxes, a lipstick packaging box is large enough to hold a pair of shoes, a bag of snacks has more packaging bags than snacks, fruit baskets are stuffed with waste paper, and only the top layer is fruit… Some consumers said that the smaller the volume of the product, the more they can feel the exaggeration of the packaging.

“The products and channels of e-commerce companies are highly homogenized, in order to grab consumers’ attention, prompting merchants to make a fuss about packaging and appearance.” Lai Yang, executive vice president of the Beijing Business Economics Association, analyzed.

Xiao Zhuqing, an expert in consumer goods marketing, believes that the emergence of commodity gift boxes is to meet consumers’ social attributes and gift consumption attributes.

Taking wine as an example, the reporter searched and found that the price of wine packaging boxes ranges from a few yuan to several hundred yuan, and the high-priced gift boxes will mostly come with wine glasses and wine utensils, and “high-end” and “high-grade” are the slogans chosen by merchants…

The “several deadly sins” of overpackaging

There is a clear “hard bar” on how to determine whether a product is over-packaged.

The national mandatory standard “Limiting Excessive Packaging Requirements for Food and Cosmetics” implemented in April 2010 clearly states that the number of packaging layers of food and cosmetics shall not exceed 3 layers, the packaging void ratio shall not exceed 60%, and the total cost of all packaging except the initial packaging shall not exceed 20% of the sales price of the goods.

“In all aspects of warehousing, transportation and sales, in order to cope with bumps and bad weather in the process of logistics and transportation, it is necessary for merchants to pack them protectively.” Lai Yang said that excessive packaging is usually a merchant’s intention to show the value of goods with the help of exquisite packaging. It is difficult for some consumers to make professional judgments on the quality and grade of goods, and often judge the brand value through the “gold content” of packaging, so that merchants will obtain pricing premium opportunities through packaging.

A tea dealer revealed to reporters that the price of 1 pound of Maofeng bulk in front of Ming Qian was about 400 yuan. For the same weight, a gift box of 4 cans can be sold for more than 600 yuan.

In addition to raising commodity prices, giving up the cost of quality and emphasizing “appearance”, excessive packaging is most criticized for causing waste of raw materials and environmental pollution.

Lai Yang said that at present, only a small amount of corrugated cardboard, cans, glass bottles, etc. of product packaging materials can be recycled, and a large amount of packaging waste needs to be disposed of by landfill and incineration. Taking packaging plastic bags as an example, they are mostly made of high-pressure polyethylene materials, and the toxic gases produced during incineration will cause air pollution and affect human health.

Advocate a new style of simplicity

Lai Yang believes that the difference between the design sense and experience of product packaging lies in the aesthetic design, not in the complexity of the packaging. He suggested that when choosing packaging materials, merchants should practice the concept of green environmental protection and try to use recyclable and degradable materials; Product packaging can be analyzed through big data, and effective mechanical support for products can be achieved with the least amount of packaging materials, thereby reducing the amount of packaging used; Research and development of new packaging materials, the use of new technology to further reduce logistics packaging costs, to form a simple new fashion.

The reporter’s search found that in recent years, the National Standards Committee has successively formulated and issued more than 10 national standards such as “General Principles for Limiting Excessive Packaging of Goods” and “Green Packaging Evaluation Methods and Guidelines”, but due to the lack of specific legal support, there are no clear penalties, and the relevant standards have not really been implemented. Therefore, it has become an industry consensus to accelerate the improvement of relevant legislation, establish a penalty mechanism, strengthen supervision, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

Under the social atmosphere of “strict economy and opposition to waste”, consumers are increasingly aware that after tearing off layers of packaging, the consumption of a commodity is ultimately its quality and content. Xiao Zhuqing said that taking baijiu as an example, some baijiu brands have launched high-quality “light bottle wine”, removing the exaggerated packaging and focusing on improving the quality of wine, which has been welcomed by consumers.

Source: Daily Worker