HP Ink Cartridge: The Latest In Wasteful Packaging.


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Last week, the black ink in my printer finally sprayed it’s last alphabet and was no longer alive. And because I was in need of one right then I ran over to the store and picked up an HP single black ink cartridge for $14. Normally I buy generics in multiples online to save some cash, but I didn’t have time last week. But I sure do regret it, because the packaging for this single ink cartridge was about 3 times larger than it needed to be:



Yes, that is the package for a single cartridge. Why do companies insist on making their packaging so big? They don’t need to impress people by making the ink cartridge appear larger. They don’t need to make it larger to catch someone’s eye, because people who need ink will go looking for it. And bigger packages mean more expense for them both in materials and in shipping. So why do they do it? Anyone have any idea or any other examples of such wasteful packaging?

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  1. Overpackaging is pretty common on items that are small yet expensive, so as to reduce the chance these items will be shoplifted or somehow “missed” by the cashier.

  2. I always found chewing gum packages to be model of wasteful packaging. If you buy the 10 pack version at your grocery store, you get 4 layers of waste:

    1) plastic wrapper holding 10 packs
    2) primary package holding 5 sticks of gum
    3) decorative paper wrapper
    4) aluminum foil holding gum

    So we got oil, aluminum & trees, trees, and aluminum… all in corresponding order of wasted natural resources.

  3. Last year I bought an item online made by Motorola. Out of the shipping box came an oversize display case made of PVC!

    Not only was it impossible to get into, in my books PVC is for water pipes and other things that need to last 150+ years, not a display case that will never need to be on display because it was shipped directly to the customer. Bad bad Motorola.

    I couldn’t stomach throwing the packaging out, so I’ve been using bits and pieces of it for odd repair jobs around the house.

  4. If you think the HP 74 Printer Cartridges has wasteful packaging, then you will would be shocked, as I was, with the packaging for the cartridges for their new printers.

    How a company could reduce the size of their cartridge by half and increase the size of the plastic packaging by 10-fold is beyond irresponsible.

    As I said, I was shocked when I replaced bought new cartridges. I would never have purchased the printer, had I known about the packaging of the cartridges.

    But I just don’t want to complain about it, I would like to inspire HP to package their products in the most environmentally friendly way. I am contacting them to begin the process. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  5. Oddly enough if you buy say a Toner, the package is more or less of appropriate size. Of course there is the protective inflatable sleave around it, but that is necessary, toners are a bit more complex than inkjet cartridges, and delicate. Still, they don’t inflate packages like they do for inkjet cartridges. I also don’t expect HP to be all that environmentally conscious in the post Fiorina world.

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