When design is just one short of perfect

I love simplehuman trashcans, I really do. They are ergonomic. The chrome remains shiney for a long time. The hinges don’t wiggle. My bin is tall and elegant, with a foot pedal. I don’t mind seeing it in the kitchen. The simplehuman website (come back after you visited) boasts “efficient” products, “perfect fit” and “smart ways” to do things. There are some cans with sensors – voice or motion, or ones with a nudge bar, for easy opening. I totally agree. It’s cool. Yet, this is a design that is one short of perfect.

Yes, this is a case of when design missed the mark: with the news full of stories about plastic-polluted oceans, this product claims nothing for sustainability and environmental safety. Nothing on the website mentions recycling, clean environment goals or decomposing capabilities for the plastic. On the contrary, the liners are made to “prevent rips and tears” and are “extra-durable.” I’m visualizing fish flapping frantically to release the grip of a plastic tangle. Is my bag landing in the ocean?

Only one plastic bag fits my bin. Size G. When I buy them in bulk with a coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond, they’re not even expensive. I love how they fit snugly into my container. They don’t leak and close well. I use 2 a week and love swinging them into the tall trashcan outside.  I’ve been doing this happily for 4 years. But wait! 2 bags a week x 52 x 4 = …416 bags. I see. Is that too many?

Tip for today: Think about how much plastic that you use is too much.

The answer: 416 bags is too much and I haven’t even counted the other bags I use in my household. Let’s ask simplehuman how many bags they sell… customers just like me, buying, using, disposing these durable bags.

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