Bring it to Barb


Dear Barb,

What is the problem with Amazon? It irks me when I get a huge box from Amazon with a little tiny rod I ordered inside with a ridiculous amount of brown crumpled paper and plastic bubble bags. Is there no smaller appropriate box that Amazon could use? The plastic bubble bags can’t be recycled, which is shameful, but what a pain to pop every single square of 150 feet of bubble bags to fit in the trash can. Everyone hates this waste, I am sure. I couldn’t be the only one who thinks about this with their Amazon orders.


Waste Hater

Dear Waste Hater,

Your annoyance is understandable, common and seemingly avoidable. But it happens to many Amazon orders at least once in a while, according to statistics. 

How it works is that the system will tell an Amazon packer which box to grab when they scan an item. Human error plays a part of this. An example: In the case of your order of a rod, the seller may have plugged the product dimensions into the system by the length that the rod could extend out to fully. Also, inches can be mistaken for feet on an iPhone case. The system relies on humans to correct the error in the system. 

A theory was given some credence recently that the big boxes were a result of some UPS conspiracy, but later debunked. 

All this being said, you should know that you can give Amazon feedback about their packaging by going to You can tell them if the box was too big, the item was not protected enough, or the item was hard to open. 

I appreciate that you are vocal and still care about our resources being wasted needlessly. After all, a tree was killed for that paper somewhere along the way. Let’s also remember that our landfill will hold those bubble bags for many years!

Barb Rock is a retired mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at or text to (253) 377-9668.

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