5 'Eco-Friendly' Products That Failed In Hilarious Ways
Products fail for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes the market doesn't understand it, sometimes the world isn't ready for that kind of innovation, and sometimes it's just a Steven Seagal rap album, and therefore deserves to burn. But other times, a product fails not because it was bad, but because everybody in charge of the launch was criminally inept, fist-eatingly crazy, chemically stupid, or all of the above. Remember how ...
Sun Chips' New Bags Were Loud Enough To Cause Hearing Loss
In 2009, Sun Chips -- the official snack of the abstract concept of disappointment -- made an environmentally friendly change to their packaging, going from the old plastic bags to new, more biodegradable ones. But there was a catch: The new bags crinkled loud enough to cause hearing loss. That's not comic hyperbole. Rustling the bags clocked in at over 100 decibels. That's louder than a motorcycle, and only slightly quieter than an average dad sneezing.
Not everyone was willing to risk their hearing for bits of cardboard with a light coating of flavor dust, so customers wrote the company and asked for quieter packaging. At one point, there was a Facebook group with 44,000 followers, which was simply and beautifully named "SORRY BUT I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUN CHIPS BAG."
Sun Chips eventually caved and sent their thunderous bags to the compost pile, pulling them from all but one of their flavors while they came up with a new eco-friendly replacement. They did nothing to change the actual chips, though, which is the real tragedy here.
McDonald's Coffee Stirrers Made Perfect Heroin Spoons
McDonald's used to have these long-handled spoons for customers to stir their coffee. Whatever happened to those things?
Turns out these suckers measured out the perfect amount of heroin. Real Goldilocks dosing -- not too much, not too little, juuust enough to forget you have a body for a spell. Drug enforcement agencies confiscated so many of the spoons from drug houses that "McSpoon" became slang for a $10 bag of dope.
McDonald's wasn't lovin' their newfound connection to the drug trade, so once it became clear that they were accidentally doubling as a family friendly head shop, they switched to the boring old flat coffee stirrers you know today.
Lululemon Blamed Fat Women For Their Shoddy Yoga Pants
Lululemon is a clothing brand that specializes in expensive workout gear and feelings of superiority. But for a luxury brand, they sure did cheap out on the fabric -- one unhappy customer took this picture through a pair of her transparent yoga pants:
After far too many women complained about inadvertently flashing people during downward dog, Lululemon admitted that they had a small quality control problem. They pulled the pants and worked with suppliers to improve their product. Except that the next shipment had the exact same issue, only now they also fell apart after a few months. Problem solved: You can't complain about see-through pants if you don't have any pants. That's next-level stuff right there.
Frustrated, their founder went on the news to state once and for all what the real problem was: You're just too fat for his pants. Chip Wilson (no really, that's his name) looked straight into the camera on national news and said, "Some women's bodies just don't actually work [in the pants]."
Valspar Sold Cat Pee Paint
When Valspar removed an additive from one of their paint lines, they set off a chain of events as unforeseeable as it was hilarious. Without the preservative, a special kind of bacteria was able to grow inside of the cans -- one that had a potent smell most noticeable only after people painted their homes with it and the weather turned hot.
The company described the smell as "ammonia-like," but customers were more specific: They thought it smelled exactly like cat pee. So much so, in fact, that customers reported searching their homes for phantom cats, convinced a local feline must have snuck in to urinate on a new and exciting rug. That's right. The paint company messed up so badly that its customers were forced to hunt for ghost cats. You know you have a disaster on your hands when it reaches "Ghost Cat" level.
People deep-cleaned their carpets, took all of their furniture out of their homes, scrubbed their floors -- all to no effect. It wasn't until they started banging their heads against the walls in frustration that they realized where the smell was coming from.
Valspar offered vouchers for new cans of paint, but some customers weren't satisfied. Many had gone to great lengths (and cost) to identify the smell, not to mention the original time and cost of painting. Getting a free can of paint from somebody when the last can of paint you got from them turned your house into a cat sewer doesn't seem like a "win."
Car Companies Coated Their Wiring In Soy, And Animals Ate It
In an effort to be more eco-conscious, car companies like Honda, Volvo, and Toyota all switched their motor wiring from traditional plastic to a new design, with the wires encased in soy-based wrapping. Please allow yourself ample time to think of ways this could go wrong. The end of this sentence should be more than enough.
This past summer saw report after report of animals chewing through the soy wires while leaving normal wiring alone. Customers tried everything to stop it -- laying down rat traps, sprinkling coyote urine. Some shelled out extra cash for the manufacturer's "spicy tape," which sounds good to us, but apparently bad to rats (maybe they used Tapatio).
Of course, all of this sounds much harder than a class-action lawsuit, so customers started doing that instead.
In response to the lawsuits, Toyota stated: "Rodent damage to vehicle wiring occurs across the industry, and the issue is not brand- or model-specific. We are currently not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy-based content."
But that's not entirely true. There is prior evidence that soy-based car parts attract critters. Back in the 1940s, some states conserved metal for WWII by making license plates out of compressed soybeans. They had to stop when cows and goats kept chewing the plates right off the cars. It's true what they say: Those who ignore history are doomed to commute to work in a rat-infested Fiesta.
You can be eco-friendly too and it requires virtually no effort. Get a recycling bin!
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