The Boxlets of Dread

As well as not being able to buy plain nachos and NZ fruit-juice, my other major peeve with supermarkets is their marketing strategy around tampons and feminine hygiene products.

Firstly, why, oh why, is the largest available packaged quantity of tampons only a 32-pack? I’m pretty sure I’ll still be menstruating in two months time, although I suppose you never can be too careful.

And secondly, you would think that a 32-pack would contain just that. But no, open up the packaging, and you find 4 more boxes, each containing 8 tampons and a detailed instruction booklet.

Seriously, do manufacturers follow 1920’s reasoning and worry women’s fragile minds might suffer from selective genital amnesia when it comes to feminine care?

Or do they just really like printing cartoons depicting close-ups of spread-eagled women?

And why the Russian doll-like packaging? I am capable of counting out a selection to put in my carry-purse myself, I don’t need manufacturers to dictate this for me.

And I certainly can do without that flimsy cardboard “convenient, purse-sized” boxlet they are packaged in. It is designed to fall apart the instant you put it in your bag, leading to tampon chaos as they lurk their way into every bag nook and cranny, just waiting to pop back into visibility at the most inopportune moment. The next day, you arrive at work, remove your laptop/phone from your bag, and whoops, there goes another case of rogue tampon ejection, much to the embarrassment of your male colleagues.

So, assuming the average woman uses 16 tampons per session, then that’s two annoying cardboard boxlets and instruction booklets for the landfill every month.

Now let’s extend this over the population of New Zealand. According to the 2006 census results there were 2,620,329 women living in New Zealand (there are approximately 10% more women in NZ than there are men), and of those around 57%, or 1,170,000, were in the fertile age group of 15 – 50. That equates to approximately 28 million useless boxlets and instruction booklets printed per year.

That’s a lot of wasted resources and irritated women.

I’m very tempted to register (yes, it’s still available), and provide a much needed service to the environment and all women alike.

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