How NOT to Use Packing Peanuts
Properly packing things for shipping can be difficult. Packing supplies are insanely expensive these days. But if you are ever tempted to use packing peanuts, please think again!
If you MUST use packing peanuts, please put them in bags!
Imagine a poor bottom rung mailroom employee opening boxes. They open your box, and even if they are careful, packing peanuts escape falling on the table and floor. Digging around in the box and extracting your item causes even more to escape. Crushed packing peanuts have found their way inside your item, stick to the edges of your item, and are now stuck to the hapless employee's gloves and arms. After more digging around to make sure there are no other items or papers at the bottom of the box, they carefully dump the packing peanuts in to a trash can, as the box itself must go in a separate recycling bin. Except now finely crushed packing peanuts hiding at the bottom escape, and stick even more vigorously than the large ones. Attempts to pick them off fail, as most just jump back.
The employee has now wasted much valuable time picking up your packing peanuts off their desk and the floor. At the end of the day when they have to clean their workspace, packing peanuts that were hiding under nearby pallets make their way out on the floor. The packing peanuts resist all attempts at being swept up, blowing around in even the slightest breeze or static charge. If crushed bits fell in to carpeted area, cleanup can be impossible without a vacuum cleaner.
The employee now has to chase around, bend over, and pick up every piece of packing peanut. Failure to do so will result in their supervisor yelling at them for not keeping their workspace clean.
So the next time you feel the need to use loose packing peanuts, imagine someone crying in despair because their life already hit rock bottom, and you just made it worse.
(Also, if you were shipping an electronic item, you probably just killed it.)
USPS recycled paper cushioned mailers SUCK!
On a similar note, the USPS has made a "cushioned" mailer available that contains finely shredded recycled paper as a cushioning layer instead of plastic bubbles. On the surface, it seems like an OK idea, but when you have to cut one open, you will quickly see why this SUCKS ASS.
Imagine for a second someone buying something off of eBay that arrives in one of these. It looks just like the bubble wrap mailer they opened earlier, so instead of opening using the not entirely obvious pull-open tab, they just jab in their box cutter as usual.
All of a sudden, there is this fine gray dust spilling out over everything! It gets in to the air too. It's too late now, even if they stop and try the pull-open tab, it just continues spilling out! Someone who is sensitive to dust could easily have a coughing fit.
After eventually removing whatever was in the mailer, and containing the mailer in a bag, now begins the tedious process of vacuuming, sweeping, and cleaning out the dust from anything surrounding where it was opened.
Keep in mind some people have need to save shipping labels or information written on the package. This kind of mailer makes that a nightmare!
Using recycled paper as padding probably seemed like a good idea on paper. Which was promptly shredded and put in the padding.
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