Excessive Packaging on Regular Grocery products

Excessive Packaging

Have you ever bought a huge box of washing powder on promotion thinking “Wow, I have got a bargain here”, but when you get home and open it up the box isn’t full of the product? Do you feel hard done by?

And what about the environmental impact? That huge box of fairy washing power is using much more packaging than necessary, takes up more room in the lorries for transportation. And we the customer, end up PAYING MORE than we should from the extra packaging and transportation costs?

It really aggravates me. I recently filmed my findings with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on the subject. 4 hours of decluttering and cleaning ensued before the arrival of the filming team!

I love to share deals with my website and social media followers to save them the lots of money. After all, it’s the aim of my website to save and make you money! But I do struggle with the environmental aspects of products, particularly from the supermarket. I always like to buy loose products rather than packaged, as no 1, I know they are cheaper (have you ever compared 5 bananas loose to 5 bananas in a packet?) and no 2 what a waste of plastic and cardboard.

Despite my efforts our recycling bin is always full to bursting point by collection time every two weeks.

Examining 10 Family Favourites

I examined ten of our favourite branded grocery products to see how much wasted packaging there was. Some examples were just silly, the brands need to stop doing this! I looked at Fairy washing powder, Quavers, Nivea men’s deodorant, chocolate buttons, frozen peas, frozen vegetables chips, cheese strings, pepperami, mini rolls and hot chocolate.

I even had a measuring tape to investigate the level of waste in the packaging. The worst culprits were the washing powder, the chocolate buttons and the mini rolls. The washing powder boxes were huge, they were bumper ‘special offer’ 4kg boxes. The type of boxes you will always find on the power aisle of your super market. I opened it up and was shocked to see that 1/3rd of the box was empty! Rather deceiving of the brand there.

wasteful packaging

The chocolate buttons were an interesting one, we looked at bumper grab bag packets which were basically full of air and only ¼ full of chocolate. With the mini rolls, there was a stark difference when you took the rolls out of the packaging as to how small they were compared the cardboard tray after removing two layers of packaging!

The deodorant was a funny one, it was the screw up type. I turned the packaging to pop up the deodorant to see how much product was in there, around half of the packaging was deodorant the rest was packaging, I popped up the deodorant and dropped and smashed on my spotless kitchen work top.

Check me out on Good Morning Britain

I appeared on Good Morning Britain on 19th May 2017 (Thank you to Nicolette for introducing me as an expert). I popped it onto YouTube with commentary from my 4 year old Jack who hadnt yet seen it!! Its good!!

Tell me about products that annoy you with ridiculous amount of packaging? What do you do to avoid buying products with so much packaging?


This article is my view and my view only.


More to explore

Comparing Energy Usage and Costs – Cooking Bolognese and Lasagna in different ways

Octopus Energy recently challenged me to investigate the costs of cooking various recipes using different devices to understand the difference in energy


Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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5 Responses

  1. Excellent, and you look really glamourous, Lynn! Even worse than paying for air is when products are so ridiculously over packaged with plastic and cardboard that by the time you find the product you wanted you can’t believe how tiny it is! I know some packaging is for protection but so much is excessive, meaning a greater cost to the consumer and the environment.

    1. Thanks Jane….I know its so wrong, the excessive packaging. It’s always annoyed me so this feature was perfect!! I almost think the environmental impact i the worst. Tha cardboard, paper, plastic that not everyone recycles. And the extra transport costs for a packet 1/2 filled with air!!

  2. I agree re over packaging items. Also it’s SO hard re what can be recycled in 1 borough in comparison to the borough next door. For instance we live in TMBC, I work in Maidstone. At home when recycling envelopes I have to remove the cellophane window, yet don’t have to at work!! Rant over

    1. Oh how rediculous!! I am forever getting messages from the bin men telling me I have put something wrong in my recycling, last week the note was I didnt put enough food waste in my brown bin. #slappedwrist

  3. Thanks Cassie, I was very excited! I notice it much more now…but yes especially crisps and the washing powder!

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