CHOICE membership

Packaging Airspace



That is ridiculous.! Hope you got your money back?


No I didn’t but I was given more on complaining about it… I shouldn’t have had to complain nor was I the only one who got very little.


Wondering how common is this example of an only partly filled container of take away food?

I don’t buy any so would welcome info from others.

Til now my main concern with take away food and drinks has been about the lack of info about the volume of the container without which it very difficult/impossible for consumers to make informed choices about value for money between different container sizes.

I have always felt that the volume of the container should have to be be displayed at the point of sale and in adverts, not just words like small, medium and large.


At that store they now use measuring holders to ensure proper amounts of product are served. Why it wasn’t done that way previously I am not sure. But many containers in Take away products can be confusing as to contents. I will try to get some photos for you.


I would have thought that the extra transport costs would outweigh the economy of the minimization of tub sizes. Personally I suspect it is a marketing ploy along the lines of “bigger is better”. If this works I guess the marketing people no doubt consider the extra transport dollars well spent.


Extra transport costs for bigger, but only partly filled, packs is an aspect that I had not thought of, so thanks for that.


I eat very little TA food but I have often observed the reverse. Your waxed tub will be small and the tubers with fat will spill out of it so that it has to be wrapped in paper or lose 1/3 of them on the floor. I thought this was intended to demonstrate a plentiful serving. The psychology of a big tub half-full makes no sense to me, a mistake I think from a presentation POV.


I have found that Nature’s Own Packaging of 60 capsules of 2000mg Valerian that the container is 110mm high with 65mm free space which leaves the remaining 45mm is the area taken up by their capsules. I also have bought another product from them with similar dimentions.


On the subject of packaging medicines. I have a terminal lung disease and I find some of my medications are in a blister packs of six for a 30 tablet box, a blister pack of 7 for a 7 day box, a blister pack of 14 for 28 tablets to a box, a blister box of 10 with 100 tablets, an inhaler with 120 dozes, an inhaler with 200 dozes. On one of my blister packs made by Novartis in Switzerland, I wrote to them about getting paper cuts on my fingers when trying to open their soft capsules for an inhaler. Each 30 capsules of this drug comes with a NEW Breezehaler inhaler with EVERY packet of 30 caps.( A misnomer if ever there was one, especially as it is difficult to pierce the capsules, especially if you have bad arthritis). It is sold in a heavy cardboard box and seems an awful waste as I use other inhalers without getting a new inhaler ever 30 days and I feel that it is just a marketing ploy to increase the prices of their products. I find this a nuisance, especially if you live in a country town with no chemist shops. It seems that anything to do with the health industry is a licence to make lots of money and the people most affected are those with a limited income or pensioners.



This drives me wild. This PLASTIC container was not even 1/3 full. With the amount of plastic we are dumping into our oceans and the impact this is having on our environment (and our apparent inability to recycle our own waste) it seems criminal to me that this partial filling of containers is continued.


Thanks for the example.


Thanks. This looks like an extreme case of under filling!

Assuming that the packs will be fuller, maybe buying packs with larger quantities in them is a partial solution to some of the problems caused by under-filling? Plus the unit price (cost per tablet/100 tablets will usually be much lower than for smaller quantities.

Or am I missing something, other than that the higher initial outlay may be an issue for some consumers?


Doxycycline [to prevent getting malaria] comes as 1 container per week - I had a fit at the chemist, the first time I got 13 little bottles like this, with 7 small tablets in each. I insisted they send to the warehouse for the boxed version, which is far better for longevity anyway as they are in blister packs.


There is plenty of obviously deceptive packaging of food. (e.g SPC changed the shape of their apple puree containers to make them look bigger, while reducing the contents from 140g to 120g!)

However, in this case, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. I buy vitamins from a mail order company in the USA (because they are so over-priced here) that puts 30 or 50 or 100 or 200 pills into the same size container. (They put cotton wool on top of some kinds to prevent breakage.) Being mail-order only, there is absolutely no chance that this confuses the buyer. After all, we’re just picking the number we want from a drop-down list. They obviously find that using two or three sizes of bottle for hundreds of products gives them efficiency savings that outweigh saving space by having dozens of different bottles.


I don’t buy much on line so would not have thought about that aspect of this issue. So thanks for alerting me to it.

It yet again illustrates the need to take proper account of online buying when looking at many consumer protection and information issues.


From Coles today, 6 bikkies in the 12~14 bikkie container.


Perhaps this Cadbury’s drinking chocolate (just opened) is meant to accompany the 1/2 full buiscuits?


Coles sure is having a doozy with plastics at the moment - can’t even get the biscuit cases right.

Plus, I can imagine the drinking chocolate would settle a bit that’s getting ridiculous. Next thing you know, they’ll be serving hot chocolate in an extra large mug that’s only half full.


Seeing this subject reminds me of a podcast to which I recently listened. Planet Money is a podcast series by the United States’ National Public Radio (NPR), and it recently repeated a podcast first broadcast in 2016, about class actions. Unfortunately, while this link includes a transcript of the beginning of the show and a link to an audio download, neither of these are the full show. It is apparently downloadable from the repeat’s web page - or of course you can subscribe using your preferred podcast app.

The Planet Money reporters spoke to people on the streets of New York, asking the difference between two tins of pepper. Most of the people they spoke to said the tins were identical - same size, company name etc. - until they realised that the stated weight of pepper in each tin was different. The contents had dropped from four ounces to three.

It turns out that US law refers to ‘functional’ and ‘non-functional’ ‘slack-fill’ in packaging. Functional slack-fill may be used to prevent potato chips from getting crushed, for instance. In the pepper case, the seller (McCormick - a company that also sells spices in Australia) had reduced the amount of pepper in its container while retaining the size/shape etc. A group of consumers began a class action, claiming that this was effectively creating non-functional space and thus against the law. (It was also misleading consumers, presumably.)

One is left to wonder - why doesn’t Australia have a similar law to prevent all the wastage and deception that over-packaging can create?


Many of us could offer opinion that is probably spot on and would take us back to why the Banking RC was so difficult to obtain, but @ijarratt has been in the thick of it and might enlighten us as a first person participant on the consumer side of packaging issues. ( I am aghast we cannot trust most business to do anything except whatever it takes to increase their profits. Right. )