Not so sustainable packaging :-(

Since the FP4 does not provide an audio plug any longer I ordered the USB-C to audio adapter offered by Fairphone. Well - the adapter itself works quite good (listening to music sounds good and calls are no problem either) and seems to be well made as well.

However the way it was sent to me was not that nice - Fairphone uses UPS and the packaging was done using a plastic wrap:

At least the plastic wrap could be separated easily from the cardboard, but I don’t see the reason why to use that in the first place at all. The little cable could have been put into a padded envelope and sent via normal postal service. And we talk about sending something from the Netherlands to Germany - or is the stuff not sent from the Netherlands?


As this is a user forum you had best contact Fairphone for a proper answer. Here you may get speculation as to why and polarised opinions on the use of UPS and plastic. :slight_smile:


So nobody tells Fairphone about certain topics from the user forum? Well then - I’ll open a support ticket and tell my story there.


Ok, could not send it as a normal question - it is now opened as a ticket for “I have a problem using my phone”, because for all other questions I would have to provide IMEI, provider name etc. or I would have to chose to get a refund - which is obivously not what I want.


Next time asked them if they could send somebody with a bicycle, but not e-bike, except its fueled wit green power

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I got a headphone cable sent like this some time ago, too. And I have seen UPS picking up my defective notebook computer years ago with a packaging of that kind. So I think I’m not too far away from the truth when saying that this is the standard way of packaging stuff that is sent by Fairphone’s logistics partner, may it be a complete phone (but without its original packaging) or a simple cable. Unified processes that make life easier for them. I’m fully aware that this doesn’t always make sense, so providing this as a feedback cannot do any harm for sure.

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I am not asking for stupid things - all I ask is to consider if it is really neccessary to use this kind of packaging. Sending a 12.5 cm short cable with two plugs using this kind of packaging is ridicolous. If UPS does not offer anything without using plastic maybe look for another logistics partner.


So many tasks are done by machines like sorting that I wouldn’t be surprised the packaging needs to be big enough in order they can handle it .

Apart from the fact that sustainabilty is not an all encompassing idea, it only applies to a particular act and I’m sure such packaging can be sustained for a long time.

Camparisons are fun, but there is no such thing as sustainable in terms of no loss etc.

But see how a small battery was packed for the Framework computer

Ok, more general: using plastic for packaging should be an exception for cases where it can not be avoided - e.g. for food or things which need to be packaged and sent sterile. But electronic parts usually do not need such kind of protection and having plastic wraps just to make things easier to handle makes no sense to me. I was already willing to pay the price for the Fairphone to get a device which is produced under better conditions and which is much easier to repair. I would not have any problem paying 5-10 EUR for transport from Netherlands to Germany, if this it what it means to get the USB-C-audio-dongle packed in a simple cardboard envelope and send via regular postal services and not UPS. But on the other hand I also pay 30-50 EUR to get my clothes repaired by a tailor if possible instead of buying new stuff, so maybe I am not the typical customer.


As you note, it’s a matter of cost and convenience.

Electronics are often sealed from air as it is damp, however plastic is not a problem per ce.

Many plastics are recyclable and some ore biodegradable. The source, fossils or currently growing vegetation are both not sustainable without enormous cost.

The attraction is plastic is light weight, so uses less transport resources and is flexible and so often transparent, the later being a consumer attraction aspect.

I agree with the notion that I will pay but only for fair trade, the sustainability issue around plastics isn’t worth the use of resources used talking about it … is it :slight_smile:

guess for Germany vireo is a good alternative then… overall the world is not perfect neither is Fairphone, so tell them and as you seem to be aware of how it would work better, provide productive examples of better companies than UPS that ship to all countries Fairphone is shipping to… I’m sure they will consider as possible, discussions here will not change a lot, not saying you should not discuss.

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Well - there is also biodegradable plastic. Maybe this would be an alternative. Since micro plastic is also a very serious issue, one should think about this as well.

All plastics are degradable and in time bio degradable.

There is the issue of bioplastics. i.e. made from ‘living’ plants or synhesised
and Bio-degradable plastics

Even bioplastics are not necessarily easily biodegardable, but there is work on that.

Regarding the more the common fossil resourced plastic PET an enzyme has been developed so that it biodegrades.

There’s a lot of concern for the plastic and the climate and fair trade but if we can’t fix the fair trade which has been developed for millennia, then plastic is just a distraction to wrap the ugliness of consuming

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