What looks like a table. Yes, a mini plastic table. I know, it keeps the pizza from bouncing up and down on that rough 10 minute ride from the pizza joint to our home, but isn't this a bit overkill? Come on! 4 1/2" X 2" is pure nonsense (I measured it, so this is no exaggeration). It's not like it will prevent the pizza from getting ruined if the delivery guy slips on our walkway, catapulting the pizza boxes across our lawn or into the nearest tree. Why so big? Oh, well let me tell you. It has to be just the right size to fit a multi-folded 6-panel, 6 coupon promo printed on non-recycled paper. Apparently the sales guy didn't quite meet his coupon quota–only 2 panels on the back were taken (handy Bears football schedule for those without internet, TV, newspaper or radio access). On the blank panels, there's a handy "To Advertise Call XXX" line. I may just call just for S&G's to find out how much they're charging. On second thought, I'll ask them if their refrigerator is running or if they have Prince Albert in a can. I do have to admit, it is an ingenious, totally unexpected way to deliver coupons.
Since my son is a LEGO junkie, I suggested he use these as the table for his LEGO people. He didn't think that was a very cool idea… maybe more so because a friend was present. Yet, after stuffing themselves with pizza, they took the plastic to my son's room. Did I say room? I meant mine field. But I digress.
Unfortunately, when I went up to bed later, I found one of these handy tables laying upside down–the legs are SHARP, like golf tees. At least that's what it felt like when I stepped on it. So not only are these things a complete waste, they're dangerous. There's not a recycling number on it either so I'm left to wonder whether it leached bpa and phthalates into the piping hot cheese during transit…
The kicker was that we ordered two pizzas. So now we have two tables (one that is now missing a leg, thanks to my in-the-dark mishap) and two sets of coupons that I'll unlikely use. Even the schedule is a waste in our household–my husband is the anti-Bears guy (sorry, Chicagoans, he's from NY, what can I say). I can offer the coupons to my moms group or maybe list them on freecycle.
I'm seriously considering contacting the pizza joint on Monday to suggest they ask customers to return their plastic tables upon next delivery for reuse. Give the customers rewards points — for every 100 tables returned, you get a free pizza. Of course, these gizmos are probably only a penny a piece so they'd end up not only losing money on the deal, but waste time, water and soap to clean them all up.
Certainly there are many much larger issues in the world to contemplate. But these little things do add up (and I had to get this off my chest). I know one thing for sure, if we decide to order out pizza again from this place, I'll ask them to hold the plastic and paper.
About the author.
Lynn is the founder of the I Count for myEARTH Blog and myEARTH360.com, a website featuring eco-friendly tips and products. She is also a contributing editor for Just Cause Magazine and lives in the Chicago 'burbs with her husband, son and two cats. You can find her on facebook and twitter.