Friday, February 15, 2008

Waste Not, Want Not

So here's a product I use:


I really like this stuff. It's a microbead scrub that I really feel makes a difference in my skin. It's gentle enough that I can use it every day, it has a nice smell, and it's not a terribly expensive product. As a matter of fact, it's really a bit of a bargain (you can click the photo to get some for yourself) at $5.99 a tube. But. The packaging...

Ooooooh, I really think there may be a special circle of hell just for packaging designers. We've all struggled with this kind of tube, right? It's very rigid plastic that squeezes down pretty successfully until you get to the bottom where it attaches to the nozzle thingie. At which point, you just can't smash it any smaller without mighty exertions and contortions, and when I'm standing in the shower with wet hands it becomes next to impossible. Usually I just get fed up & throw the thing away, even though I suspect there are several more applications of whatever product is in there, but I start thinking, "Oh, it's just not worth it!" and give up. What's even worse, the plastic of this particular tube is somewhat transparent, so I didn't just suspect that there was a good deal left in that tube, I could see it. Which really grated my cheese.

Now. This may seem extremely silly: fussing over a few dollops of a $6 product while my closet is stocked with shoes that in some cases cost more than my rent. But the waste of it really ticks me off. And even worse than that is the feeling that the company is trying to play me: they put 5 ounces of product in that tube, but they know I can't use all of them, so I'm going to have to buy another tube that much faster. Grrrrr...

Well, I showed them!

I marched that bad boy into the kitchen and whipped out my trusty kitchen shears, cut off the top and along the sides

And scooped all of the leftover scrub out of there with my skinniest spatula. (Be careful if you do this -- the cut edges of that plastic were sharp.)


How much did I get? This much:

1.25 ounces. Yep. Fully 25% of the product I had purchased that I would have otherwise had to toss into the bin. I'm pretty sure this is going to get me through another two to three weeks of face scrubbin'.

While we're on the subject of product sizes & packaging, you know what else bugs me? Nail polish. I don't believe I have ever gotten through more than half a bottle of nail polish before it turned too hopelessly goopy to use, even with judiciously added drops of remover used as thinner. Why don't they make the bottles half as big and charge us half as much? (What a silly question, I know.) Honestly, even if they didn't lower the price, I'd probably feel better about it just because I didn't throw half of it away -- I'd feel that I was at least getting to use what I'd paid for.

So how about you guys? What's your pet packaging peeve?

Photos:, Style Spy

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Anonymous said...

Any product in a pump dispenser - hand lotion, soap, eye repair cream, glass cleaner, etc. Especially the ones where the bottom tip of the tube doesn't quite reach the bottom of the bottle. There is no way at all to get out the last bit of a cream-type product unless you use the tube thing to swish around the sides and gather up the remnants. Even then you can't get all the bits in the corners of the container. I'm dealing with that right now on a fairly expensive eye cream. I know there's enough in there yet to last me another full month but I CAN'T GET IT OUT!!

Anonymous said...

oh! I have this problem with body lotion and my face srub also. Instead of cutting along the side, I cut an inch or so above the bottom and then fit the top part back over it. Just scoop out with your finger! Yeah... at least a week's worth left every time!

I also hate shampoo bottles that don't stand on their heads well when you're running low. The ones with the opening on the bottoms are my favorite!

amisare waswerebeen said...

OxyClean detergent. It comes in a tub with a flimsy excuse for a lid. I ended up spilling half of it on the floor cause the lid doesn't close. I actually complained to the company about it.

Anonymous said...

Store your nail polish in the fridge. It will last much longer.

Anonymous said...

Style Spy shared the cutting of the tube tip, but another useful option is to dip a Q-tip into the bottom of containers (relatively shallow ones, at least).

La Belette Rouge said...

Like anonymous, it is pumps that are my peeve. I use the L'Occitane Shea milk cleanser and when it gets down to just a 1/4 left I cannot get any out. It makes me coo-koo crazy!! Grrr!!!!

Deja Pseu said...

Hand lotion in pump dispensers (especially when they're designed so you can't unscrew the top), St. Ives Apricot scrub in the same kind of tube as yours, and Swiffer Wet cloths. The stupid lid on those is on so loosely that if you don't use them up quickly they dry out. I also hate any product that is needlessly sold in cardboard and plastic packaging that involves more material than the product itself. Olay is one offender that comes immediately to mind, as well as Chanel (with their skin care).

Anonymous said...

i've been doing this for a while now. it really is amazing how much product is still in there! with hand lotions and other products with a pump, i just unscrew the lid and pull out the pump and pour the remaining lotion into my hands. the hardest ones to get the last drops out of are the little bottles of serum - you have to pop the lid off (which can be quite difficult) to get at the remaining product. but yes, it's often a week's worth of product you're salvaging, and after all, you did pay for it - so you should be able to use it! - minette

Anonymous said...

Hey,style-spy and other blog visitors! If any of you have time, could you please give me your opinion on either of the shoes in the pictures above? Pretty please? Any feedback at all is much appreciated. Thanks!

P.S.Sorry, I can't seem to figure out how to link directly, I'm embarrassingly un-tech savvy.

Love, Frances.

closettherapist said...

My pet peeve is not being able to retrieve the lip gloss out of the bottom of my Mac Lipglass Tubes. I contort and twist the wand around until it makes me crazy! Fortunately there is Back to Mac. This is my first visit to your blog. Very nice--Closet Therapist in Houston