Crazy like a prophet

The new trend of mystery packages

This spring, in my market, a new stall appeared. “Lost packages” by the hundreds, sold for 4 euros per 100 g. Before buying, you have the right to feel, shake, weigh but not to open. I observed a lady spend 44 euros for two small boxes. For what ? “It’s like a lottery, the pleasure of the game,” she told me before leaving to open them elsewhere.

So what is this strange fashion that is spreading in France? Since January 2022, a measure of the anti-waste law for a circular economy (known as the Agec law) prohibits the destruction of goods sold by online platforms and not distributed to their recipient: incorrect or illegible address, forgetting an order that is undoubtedly vital …Rather than giving to charities what they previously destroyed, the platforms sell these unclaimed products to wholesalers who resell them to traders who, to quote one of them, ultimately promise us “a gateway towards the unexpected and excitement.

What a magnificent whitening of our addiction to online commerce! Behind our virtual clicks, no less than a billion packages are delivered each year in France, at the cost of thousands of kilometers traveled (and a few shops lowering their curtains). These “lost and resold” packages seem to be the symptom of an overconsumption so disenchanted that it begins to look deep in the boxes for the spark of mystery.

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