Friday, June 20, 2014

Will we finally see less packaging when ordering lab chemicals?

In the past 2 months, shipping companies FedEx and UPS both announced that their shipping charges will reflect not only the weight of the package (as has been historically done) but also the size of the package. Does this mean that we will now see our lab chemicals arrive in boxes that are slightly more appropriate in size and slightly less. Maybe we can avoid scenes like this:
Or this:
Or this:
Anyone who has ever received lab chemicals could add to this with tales of bags inside metals can packed with vermiculite inside bags inside boxes...The bottle inside the Russian Doll-like packaging is called the primary package. The next layer out is the secondary packaging, the third layer out is the tertiary packaging. Here's your English language trivia tip of the day: there are words to describe the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th layers, but not the 11th.

Ironically, bulk chemicals are shipped with far less packaging, often in something as simple a plastic tote (maybe in a steel cage), or a double-walled tanker. Thank goodness for that. I can't imagine how many expanded polystyrene peanuts Aldrich could use to protect these larger quantities.

Ensuring that a chemical arrives in undamaged condition is very important, but since there has historically been little need to keep the final box small, then the result is as seen above. Hopefully this will now change with the new charges.

Previous Years
June 20, 2013 - Polylactic Acid - from Methane?

June 20, 2012 - A Vinyl Window with a Great R-Value

June 20, 2011 - Viscosity

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