Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Great Egg Carton Debate

A few days ago, I was shipping a breakable ceramic urn and used some Styrofoam egg cartons as packaging instead of packing peanuts. I took a photo and posted it in my Facebook group sharing the  creative packing technique with the statement, "Save egg cartons - great for packing breakables and less messy than Styrofoam peanuts." The intent here was to show others that egg cartons are a free, effective, and handy alternative to packing peanuts. Most everybody uses eggs, so this is a great way to recycle something in a useful way as well as save money on shipping supplies.

Now, this technique is a far cry from using soiled pizza boxes or flimsy cereal boxes for packaging. In the past I have cringed at some photos of recycled packaging that could have been bacteria-laden or just too flimsy to use as a shipping box. (Like in this article.)

I should have been more specific and stated that the egg cartons were clean and I assumed people understood the cartons were empty. But, as on many Facebook discussions, things took an interesting turn.

The photo received 511 likes and 90% of the comments were in favor of this packing technique.

There were 2 camps on this discussion:

Recyclers / green enthusiasts who thought the technique was a clever use of available in-home packaging.

The allergy advocates who claimed that putting egg cartons in a package could cause a person with egg allergies to have a severe reaction - that "egg allergies can be so severe that even residue of the shell can cause anaphalactic shock." (I have not verified this statement.)

The issue is, " If sensitivities are that extreme, and such great caution must be taken to exist in the world in general, I can't imagine someone buying items off the Internet from at-home sellers not knowing what the item has come in contact with. Any number of things could have been near the product and could result in a negative reaction."

So the burning question is, should eBay sellers use egg cartons as packaging?

Read the discussion here.

Related Articles:

eBay Seller Fail - Don't Misuse USPS Supplies

Pros and Cons of the eBay Global Shipping Program

How to Ship a Coffee Mug Sold on eBay


Kay said...

Did anyone consider the possibility of salmonella contamination from the eggs?

Japolina said...

I agree with Kay…I think Raw eggs + salmonella.

I agree that if one is so sensitive that ebay is the last place that they should be buying anything. I'm always amazed at buyers who ask questions like "I'm super sensitive to cologne odors, should I still buy your item". If you are that sensitive, don't buy used stuff!

Unknown said...

Chicken syrofoam trays work well too!