Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/29/aboxalypse_now/

HP excessive packaging world record put to the test

Boxing unclever

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 29th July 2009 10:43 GMT

Aboxalypse now It is with heavy hearts that we today report that HP has shattered its own excessive packaging world record - set last year when it managed to expend 17 cardboard boxes in dispatching 32 sheets of A4 paper to a shaken customer.

Of course, the competition wasn't going to take this lying down, and Dell subsequently weighed in with a commendable contribution to the destruction of Mother Earth.

However, HP had already consolidated its hold on the title by sending someone a mouse strapped to a pallet, and it looked unlikely that such excesses could ever be topped.

Until now, that is, as you'll see. Firstly, though, let's have a round-up of other cardboard crimes against the environment, courtesy of Reg readers.

We'll get started gently, because you'll need time to strengthen your nerves for what comes later. Here's a CR2032 watch battery Glen ordered from BT's online tentacle:

Small Sony battery inside large box, thanks to BT

Not bad, but try this contribution from Brett, whose company stumped for a licence key for ILO, "so we can save the planet by not having to drive the 20 miles to our second site to fix a server":

One HP licence stuck to CD case inside enormous box

Said licence was "stuck to the back of a CD case (with no CDs in, just some pamphlets) inside a padded envelope which in turn was inside a medium sized box full of bubble wrap…"

Let's hand over to Jay, who reckons CDW is no slouch in the cardboard department either, and offers "two Opteron processors, each alone in a ten processor rack, each rack in a separate (and far too large) box, both boxes in another (too large) box":

CDW packs two Opteron processors in a large box

Nice. Try Dave's USB key for size - something which ebuyer.com evidently didn't do:

Good work by eBuyer: One USB key in a very large box

Or what about signage? Just how much packaging do a couple of signs need, Matthew asks:

Two CCTV warning signs in an excessively large box

Naturally, this wouldn't be a proper packaging outrage exposé without a couple of contributions from Amazon: the company which, despite its name, seems intent on seeing the rainforest felled in the service of ecommerce. Thanks to Hamish for a lovely snap of his shiny new Flash memory card:

Amazon overdoes the packaging for a Flash memory card

And there's more from Amazon...

One 58mm photo filter in very large box, courtesy of Amazon

Adam explains: "The only thing in the box was that small lens filter and the invoice, but my favourite part is the 'I'M UPSIDE DOWN'... on both top and bottom.

Hmmmm. Next up, we have James and his "single 500gb 2.5" SATA laptop hard drive" (arrowed, in case you miss it):

Two very large boxes containing one small drive

Time for a short break from the wonderful world of IT, as Andrew explains: "I am concerned that, even though you are an IT organ, you do not recognise the achievements of the lower tech 'heritage' industries.

"Herewith my entry from supplier of bathroom fittings and brassware, Bristan, a British company which has honed and polished its packaging skills over many years and deserves respect."

Bristan crams tiny screw into giant box

Andrew helpfully attached "a close up of the entire consignment, in order that your readers may fully understand the enormity of this achievement" (the stamp is for scale, natch).

Yup, it's good, but remember it's HP you're up against here. Cue a contribution from Michael: "This is what happened when we took delivery of an HP BLc NC325m Quad-port NIC this morning. This is not the first time we've received such a small part from HP on such a large pallet, but we decided to video the unboxing of this one to preserve it for future generations..."

here

Remarkable...

...although how does it square up to this superb effort from competition newcomer Sony? Paul pitches on behalf of the Japanese electronics monolith: "I snapped these pics while I unpacked a pair of boxes I received the other day. I was expecting a Jiffy bag or similar, so when a pair of 1ft square boxes turned up from Sony I was a little perplexed. I thought I may have been shipped the wrong consignment from their warehouse..."

Two large cardboard boxes from Sony

"So I opened them up to see what goodies I had been given. Between them they held 9 more smaller boxes..."

The two boxes contain nine smaller boxes

"With all the excitement of a child on Christmas morning I began opening these packages to find... more boxes! Lovingly shrink wrapped and containing ... yep, some brown boxes filled with packing foam and each holding an antistatic bag...."

Paul concludes: "And what do each of these bags contain? A single, solitary silicon chip. No wonder they cost so much. Our recycling bin is now full. Seriously, how much protection does an IC need?"

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