Sunday, September 08, 2019

It's time to drop the plastic sleeves

Vandoren saxophone reeds
I'm a long-term Vandoren user. Over the 25 years I've been playing I've used Vandoren (various models... I've tried them all!) more than anything else (and I've tried most other brands/models at some stage). But surely I'm not the only one who's sick of all the plastic packaging used by reed companies. What's the point of the plastic reed holder? You open the box, remove the reed from the plastic sleeve and that's the end of it. Can't more companies use cardboard/paper sleeves? I can't recall opening a box and finding damaged reeds do to the being store in cardboard sleeves. Are sleeves even necessary? Remember the old Rico and La Voz that had tissue paper packing? 

Has anyone noticed performance improvements since Vandoren started individually wrapping reeds? I can't say I have – I even have some of the from the non-wrapped era and they seem pretty much the same. Is it worth the extra waste creation? And due to the wrapping, the Vandoren boxes are huge.

But it's not limited to Vandoren. Rico/D'Addario use plastic sleeves. Rigotti (and Roberto's) use a soft plastic sleeves. And I'm sure there are others too. Alexander use cardboard sleeves... albeit inside the metal tins (wouldn't a cardboard box keep the costs down?) Side note: other than storing old reeds in them - yes, I do keep least for a little while - has anyone found a use for Alexander tins?

Anyway, once my current stock of reeds run low (and I've got quite a stock pile), I will start the search for an alternative that uses less plastic. Marca, Ponzol and Gonzalez come to mind. In the past, I haven't had much luck with Gonzalez, and I'm not sure if Ponzol still make cane reeds, so I'll likely be starting with Marca.

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