Waste produced by Pokemon card collecting

I’m just a Pokemon forum mod and definitely don’t have the answer. Unfortunately I think we’re at a point where there’s a major difference between what should be done to address climate change and what’s feasible, whether that’s due to international politics, public aversion to change, corporate lobbying, etc.

World dictator fourthstar would probably have some good ideas, but if that ever happened there would be way more serious problems than climate change.


By this logic, if you care about waste you better not be opening any packs. The booster pack wraping for just 10 cards of which 99% of them will be worthless is just going to undegradable landfill rubbish. Plus the additional packaging of most modern english with a cardboard box and several layers of plastic.

I’m all for not being wasteful but you’re not really throwing away any of the plastic used for graded card holders unless you’re cracking them. If we’re talking about the Pokemon hobby I’m sure there’s wayyyy more waste generated from ETBs considering most people just buy them for the packs and the ridiculous amount of packaging, sleeves, etc are typically just thrown away.

Definitely think that they need to stop making the excessively huge collection boxes with all the plastic trays inside. Even without the environmental side, they are just needlessly massive, not fun to buy, and the packaging takes up so much room in the recycling bin.

But will that ever change when it’s unlikely that the marketing strategy of making things big and eye-catching will probably never change as long as our basic human nature to desire such things and equate their size/colours to mean “good” isn’t going to change?

I don’t even like the metal tins tbh.


Hmmm idk if it’s necessarily a basic human nature thing-- correct me if I’m wrong, but they don’t seem to make such excessive products in Japan. Aside from that, I obviously can’t speak for kids, but I personally hate the packaging for English product. They also always come with some jumbo/ extra BS I do not want nor care about.

I remember even as a kid opening my first Pokemon tin (it was the power keepers one with the Charizard) and thinking “why is this just a big empty metal box with this plastic thing holding up 4 packs?” obviously that probably came from the position of expecting there to be a bunch of packs under the plastic, not environmental concerns, but like if a child can make that observation, it’s probably something worth looking into lol


I’ve always told people that banning plastic straws (which we’ve done in Canada) is basically an anti-environmental conspiracy. The practical effect on plastic waste is negligible and the actual impact it has is just to poison the well with respect to implementing real, effective policy.

A complete ban on plastics is not realistic. Banning one really specific type of plastic makes even less sense. It feels designed to be annoying and nonsensical. Especially when you get a paper straw in a plastic cup.


Whether or not you believe in the timelines for climate change impacting daily life I imagine you still see the implications in some respect.

With your first hand experience, what do you feel is the solution?

It was pretty much a singular response to the abundance of videos circulating on social media of turtles with plastic straws wedged in their (facial region). I think it was performative to provide the illusion of change happening. Not to mention, exactly as you said, people hate it and it just creates a negative reaction toward ‘green’ initiatives.

The clear solution is to just be a cheapo like me and reuse all your boxes and packaging materials that you get from buying things whenever you need to ship stuff out. Half the time I’m shipping stuff out in Amazon boxes that I’ve peeled the labels off of.

I have a hoard of packing material in my garage from all my Japan orders since for some reason Japanese sellers always go overboard on bubble wrap.

Reduce, reuse, recycle (in that order).


While being responsible and ecologically minded to do your bit is in every sense a good thing, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just do the best you can personally.

In geological time, the impact we’ve had on the planet is a speck, and quite literally nothing compared to some of the pure apocalypses that Earth has endured in its 4 billion years. It keeps on spinning, and life always bounces back; it’s pure ego to think humanity is any threat to the actual planet.

Some of our habitats & species that can’t adapt fast enough to changing environments are going to be the main casualties of the current climate change we’re seeing, just as it was as Earth warmed after the last ice age. Until China & India start to actually pull their acts together, it’s just the reality we live in and won’t be able to do much about.


i refuse to use paper straws. find another way to fix the climate thank you


This is something I struggle with a lot mentally. How much is enough? Do I move to all reusable/cardboard stuff? Well, where does the wood and the chemicals to produce corrugated cardboard come from? What about when those synthetic reusable things wear out? Do I stop engaging in my hobbies? Is it better to live in the middle of nowhere off the grid? Is my non existence better for the environment? (Disclaimer: I am not seriously considering this.)

I think ultimately, as some people have said above, really all you can do is just do the best you can personally. Now if only my not logical mind accepted this.


The other great trick was convincing people that most plastic is recyclable


People have been predicting the end of civilization as we know it for many years. These predictions include various causes and timeframes and the things being said in this thread have been said before. None of them have come true and none of them ever will. Don’t be carelessly wasteful and don’t litter, but enjoy your life and don’t feel guilty about some excess.


Fantastic ideas. I also realize I’m probably going to sound like a Petrochemical lobbyist here or something, BUT I really want to shed light on the massive amount of efforts organizations are putting into environmental initiatives.

-Many plants are already incorporating solar, wind, and water. I know of one that’s 100% renewable and generating a credit on excess. I’m sure more exist, but I know of a small modular reactor (nuclear) that’s starting construction soon that’s going to 100% power a large petrochem plant near me. These companies are dumping massive dollars into these green projects.

-I love this. I’m not sure if this exists, but if it doesn’t, it should.

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I didn’t mean to pick on you, I just wanted to get your perspective- you had a really valid point. I completely agree with you though.

It’s a complex beast, but I do believe we’re very slowly moving in the right direction.

@fourthstartcg is on the money. There are massive systems of governmental and corporate control that have an unfathomable impact compared to consumers. It doesn’t mean our decisions don’t count, each dollar is a vote after all, but it’s important to understand the scale and perspective. Ultimately the consumers can effectuate change by expressing their desires using their dollars to support, or not support a product or company. A good example is how the supply of organic produce has increased, and the cost has decreased with economies of scale. Organic vegetables was not a thing 25 years ago.

Another important point is that there is no single solution. There are a myriad of potential solutions, as there should be for an extremely complex issue. Each will have many pros and cons. The next question is who should decide on those complex solutions, and who should bear the cost of it? For those that cannot abide by those solutions or afford to pay the cost, what is the consequence? One can go from environmentalist to tyrannical dictator fairly quickly.

Lastly, Teddy Roosevelt was a G. My guy had the foresight and determination to preserve 230 million acres of land, forests and national parks in the US. Very few people have accomplished anything of this scale and I am extremly grateful!

  • Ban all cars, lorries and all vehicles, ie; ban petrol. Use animals to push cart or horse to pull sedan*.

  • Ban electricity, use solar, wind energy or hyperactive young children to jump up and down to power generators*.

  • Pokemon centers to provide fans additional service to collect back and recycle unwanted bulk cards. Each card pays 1 cent to the fans.

*Like how ancient people did more than 200 years ago.


Had to buy some bubble wrap and envelopes last week but that was the first time in an age that my packaging stores got so depleted.

Fortunately, I am able to pinch boxes from the recycling at work so never need to buy those either.

The waste is bad at times, but I don’t think it’s any worse than most other products when shopping online. With card collecting in general, you can at least re-use the sleeves and toploaders and things. Slabs being cracked of course is a total waste unfortunately, but only so many collectors do this. I really believe that unless it’s something rare/desirable or can get a high grade (i.e. 9+) it probably shouldn’t be graded, but there’s been a grading obsession the past few years so a lot of junk slabs were produced and therefore a lot of wasted plastic as well.

Another thing that is a waste is how people ship cards at times. At times there’s way more waste than necessary. For example, multiple boxes or multiple bubble wraps, sleeves, plastic holders and team bags and so on. It’s just total overkill at times when it simply doesn’t have to be. Like it doesn’t have to be a plastic sandwich when it’s a $10 Pokemon card :grin:.

So there’s definitely things that could be done to reduce waste in Pokemon hobby as well as other products. But I really feel Pokemon is not as bad as some other things we consume. For example, food packaging is often a massive waste. Imagine if people would make more food at home instead of eat out or buy convenient frozen meals? Lots could be done to reduce our waste in many areas of our lives IMO.