Friday, March 29, 2013

Frustration-Filled Packaging

I was delighted to read about Amazon's 'Frustration-Free Packaging' a few months ago - I saw this video, and their website claims that works with manufacturers to box products in Certified Frustration-Free Packages, which reduces the overall amount of packing materials used.
Amazon Certified Frustration-Free packages are recyclable and come without excess packaging materials.
Combined, I assumed this meant cardboard packaging.  Imperfect? Yeah, but for something shipped to me in the mail, it seems like the best option. 

My headphones started to short out last week. I want to keep using my iPod until it dies, so the less plastic that I can involve in my headphones, the better.  I checked Amazon and found these, which are cheap as headphones go, decent reviews, and frustration-free packaged! The product page claims the following:
This item is delivered in an easy-to-open recyclable box and is free of plastic "clamshells" and wire ties
Woo! I thought.

Until they turned up at my door.  Looking like this:

I don't see how this is a significant improvement over a plastic clamshell, because I still need scissors to open it despite there being a little spot to tear the pouch.  Ok, it might be frustration-free in that sense, but that's still more work than a little cardboard box.

Also, nothing on the pouch indicates that it's recyclable.  And even if it were recyclable somewhere, New York City doesn't recycle plastic like this (they barely recycle plastics at all, but that's another post...). 

So I'm currently frustrated by Frustration-Free Packaging.  I'm torn over whether to return them.  Part of me wants to just give up and use them, and just write Amazon a letter, but at the same time...the letter will probably carry more weight if I make them give me my money back.  An infinitesimal amount of weight, given how much they make, but weight nonetheless.