Pump Action Robbery

A few months ago over lunch with some girlfriends, one of them told us that she had taken a hacksaw to a face cream container. She marched up to the cosmetic counter of a department store and showed them how much product was wasted because she couldn’t get it out of the container. It was a container that uses a pump action mechanism to dispense the cream.

At the time we laughed, albeit supportively, at her attitude. Since then however, I have felt like doing the same myself.

After trying unsuccessfully to extract quite a lot of product from various containers, I tried to buy some makeup in a normal ‘squeeze it all’ out tube. It’s almost impossible.

It may be that I am paranoid about it being a big conspiracy amongst cosmetics manufacturers, or maybe they have, all at the same time, decided to move their packaging towards pump action mechanisms for one reason or another which could include aesthetics, hygiene or shelf life.

Whatever their reasons, the result of all this is a massive increase in wasted product, as pump action mechanisms are possibly the most inefficient way to dispense the entire contents of these containers. To compound the problem, many have also chosen to move to glass jars with the aforesaid pump action mechanisms, creating the double whammy of being both heavy and wasteful.

Wasting some cheap makeup or face cream is not great but it’s not the end of the world. Being forced to waste product that has cost upwards of £30 for a small container, could be described as daylight robbery.

Who is to blame? The cosmetic companies must know that product is wasted and that as a result they sell more product. Do the container designers test them to ensure that all of the product can be extracted, or are they briefed to ensure that a percentage of the expensive face cream remains in the container?

Am I alone in thinking that this is going against everything that we as a society are trying to promote, or am I becoming a clone of Victor Meldrew?

Pass me that hacksaw.