Costco is a great place to stock up on food and household products like water and floss, which can come in packs of 40 and six, respectively. One downside of bulk products, however, is that a lot of plastic is needed to wrap these items. Plastic, we know, is bad for the environment. It can harm wildlife, spread toxins, and contribute to global warming.
And with Costco reportedly attempting to not only be more transparent about its plastic use but also reduce its plastic use, the big box retailer is seemingly looking into ways to most efficiently package such items. This means using the least amount of plastic necessary. According to PIRG, there was a big push—in the form of petitions—for Costco to do this.
If this TikTok is any indicator, it appears the chain is committed. According to TikToker Angelina Diaz (@angelinadiaz647), Costco used to individually wrap its paper towel rolls in plastic before packaging them all together in even more plastic. On its site, one of the selling points Costco uses for its 12-count packs of paper towels is that they are “individually wrapped.”
Costco apparently recently did away with individually wrapping these paper towels, to the dismay of at least one customer: Diaz. “Kirland towels. So disappointed,” she said in a video after realizing the paper towels were no longer individually wrapped. “I was so upset. … You know how hard it is for me to store things when I am limited on space? And I appreciate that they are individually wrapped so I can make them fit.”
She said she believes the paper towels will get “dirty” via dust if they are stored unwrapped.
Diaz also said that she believes Costco did this in an effort to save money. “Back to Walmart, I go, I guess—somewhere different that actually does individual paper towel wrapping,” she concluded.
Diaz shared that she brought the paper towels back to the store in hopes of returning them. It appears her first attempt was a fail, and she recorded her second attempt.
“All right, so day two of coming back to Costco to come return these paper towels,” she said.
She blamed Costco for giving individually wrapped paper towels to customers, only to take them away. “I mean, at least discount it. It should be less if you’re not freaking gonna individually wrap it,” she added.
Diaz willingly posted these videos to her TikTok page, but viewers were not on her side. Instead, they lauded Costco for finding a way to use less plastic. “Good job Costco, finding ways to use less plastic,” one said. “The things i have seen people return at costco seriously!! Returning because they are not individually wrapped!! You must be a joy lol,” another praised.
“I loved that Costco did this. I hated the extra plastic wrap around each roll. This is such a weird thing to complain about and post,” a third wrote.
Both of Diaz’s videos were viewed a collective 281,000 times. They are the only two videos on her account.
The Daily Dot reached out to Diaz via TikTok comment and to Costco via contact form.