This is the sixth in an intermittent series of posts asking sometimes awkward questions. Some topics are trivial, some serious, and others vital. I’d love you to join in any ensuing debate using the comments at the foot of the post. Enjoy!
Recently, my wife’s laptop mouse decided to play up; the scroll wheel sent the cursor in any direction other than that intended! I ordered a new one for her (Valerie’s the first to admit her IT knowledge is a little lacking). This, remember, is a PC mouse; a small, lightweight object that would fit into a carton big enough to house a…well, a mouse.
So, what arrived? The picture says it all.
The cost of this is irrelevant to me: it was a ‘post free’ deal. But I have this inbuilt ‘excess meter’ that bursts into life whenever I’m faced with the unnecessary waste of resources. I mean, look at it. All that for a mouse! It could’ve so easily been packed for sale in the shop, and for post, in a small cardboard box with the minimum of protective packaging in the form of recycled, moulded coarse card. Plastic waste is a major problem and this bubble pack was totally unnecessary. A smaller cardboard carton would’ve made the device easier to display on a shop shelf, cheaper and easier to transport and to post, and would’ve reduced the purchase costs. An idiotic waste of resources. I wish they’d use common sense instead of excess packaging.
And, whilst I’m having this rant, I must mention the junk mail that arrived today. We get very little, as we’re signed up to the mail preference service, so I’m especially sensitive to rubbish pushed through our letterbox. The stuff in the picture consists of two leaflets. One’s from a property company offering high end (and expensive) retirement properties. Printed on premium paper the thickness of light card, it’s an example of ott marketing guaranteed to make me averse to the product. The other’s an 8-page leaflet about spectacles; another wasteful use of paper (not the recycled type) bound to get my goat.
I don’t know about you but, if I want to buy something, I go looking for it. Sending me unsolicited garbage in an attempt to get me to buy something I’m unlikely to buy is simply going to alienate me. I can’t believe I’m alone in this reaction, so why do these companies do it? There surely must be better, more efficient, less wasteful systems of advertising than sending millions of leaflets randomly to people with no interest whatever in the products, mustn’t there?
This stuff goes, unread, into the recycling bag. I’ve never bought an item or a service as the result of receiving junk mail. Have you?
What a waste of time, effort and resources. High time this practice was made illegal, I think. What about you?