Plastic Bottles

I take a number of pills and supplements every day and I have long noticed that the bottles containing the supplements, and sometimes the pills, are rarely anywhere near full.  In fact, the other day, I used up one of my supplements and had recently purchased two replacements, in a two for one sale.  So, out of curiosity, I opened both of them and poured the contents of one into the other.  They both fit easily.  This means to me that we are wasting an enormous amount of packaging.

Years ago, I even tried asking the company that made one of the products I was buying why they didn’t fill the bottle up.  They gave me the usual reasons about 1) settling and 2) labeling.  But, 1) pills don’t need to settle and 2) the need for a large bottle in order to print all of the required information on the label still doesn’t answer the question why the bottle can’t be filled up.  As a matter of fact, one of the two prescription medicines I take DOES fill up the bottle.  The other one, sadly, does not, but that may be due to the pharmacy and not the bottler.  Everyone assumes that purchasers are easily placated, because “everyone does it”.  That much is true.  Pretty much everyone does do it.

But that STILL doesn’t answer the question about why.  Presumably it is because the big bottles make it look like you are getting a lot.  The bottles are mostly opaque, so you can’t really SEE how much you are getting.  Once you buy the product, the chances are you will buy it again, because it is familiar to you and “everyone” fills the bottles only half full, so switching gives you no advantage.

So my question is, how much packaging is wasted in a year, on bottles that are only half or less full?  All those pill and supplement bottles must surely add up to a lot.