All opinions stated are my own and I purchased these cookies myself.
I’m going to start sharing examples of letters and inquiries I make to companies. I hope this gives you some helpful examples, both of decisions you can make and letters you may write.
Our family loves chocolate sandwich cookies. Normally we only buy a box at Halloween and spend a few days working on the one box. The last couple of years we’ve bought several brands to find our favorite natural/organic option.
We’ve decided as a family that Back to Nature’s Classic Creme Cookies are our favorite. When I found out they now come in mini size, we bought a box to help with #2 potty training. What I did forget in my excitement, since we traditionally only eat these once a year, is that the bag inside the box is not easily recyclable. It’s the silver plastic stuff.
An example of an interior bag. This silver plastic bag is not accepted in plastic bag/plastic film drop-off programs.
This specific photo example is not Back to Nature, it’s another brand of a different type of cookie, but you get the idea.
Why can‘t I recycle any of the bags that are used in Back to Nature packaging?https://backtonaturefoods.com/frequently-asked-questions
Unfortunately, other than PE grocery bags, recycling facilities do not accept films.
The above statement taken from Back To Nature’s website today isn’t the best statement. Per How2Recycles’s website, the educational site for The American Chemistry Council’s site for Plastic Film Recycling, you can recycle many plastic bags and plastics film at store drop-off stations; however you can’t recycle the silver plastic bags at an in-store plastic bag recycling station. You can recycle the silver plastic bags with Terracycle in their All-In-One Zero Waste Box, which you do have to purchase and it is expensive though you can put almost anything non-perishable or not-sharps in these boxes.
What you will see on the How2Recycle website is that a clear or opaque version of that bag is recyclable at in-store plastic bag recycling stations. Therefore I have written Back to Nature as much. Unfortunately my copy/paste didn’t work and I lost the exact “Contact Us” I sent them, and they do not send you a copy of your inquiry, so I wrote something similar to what is below.
Thank you so much for making your delicious Mini Classic Crème Cookies! They are our family’s favorite cookies. I wanted to inquire if it was possible for BtN to change their bags from the not-easily-recycled silver plastic bag to the more opaque bags that come in the same size and can be recycled at any in-store plastic bag recycling station, which many stores have now. More information is at https://how2recycle.info/sdo. I also would love to see BtN start to include the How2Recycle label on its products to help increase recycling efforts. Similar products and competitors are already adding these labels, for example Annie’s who also makes a chocolate sandwich cookie, already carries the How2Recycle label. Thank you again for your delicious products! I look forward to hearing back from you.The best guess at remembering what I wrote on the Contact Us form.
So my goals here are:
- say how much I like their product
- ask them why they chose what they chose that I am concerned about
- offer them alternatives and where to find that information
- reference a competitor or similar product that I would seriously consider switching to if the issue isn’t resolved, or if I switched already that I have switched brands and for what reason.
You may have heard the phrase “vote with your wallet” and we do this when we choose options that are easier on the environment. Pick your definition of easier or better for the environment: more recylcable, bulk, refillable, less water, less chemicals, natural, smaller footprint, carbon offsets, fair trade, etc. I’m not addressing not purchasing packaged food to begin with here, though that is the most zero waste option to consider. What I want to help you with is making better smaller greener choices while you work on deciding and planning what larger green choices you want to make. Greener choices would be learning how to make these ourselves with bulk, recyclable and compostable ingredients or walking to our local bakery and buying a similar but not quite the same chocolate sandwich cookie.
We should use our voices and explain to companies why we choose not to support them or when we leave what actions they’ve taken that lost them our dollars and patronage. Companies won’t change unless we push for change.
In the opposite vein, everyone loves to hear how they are doing well and why you support them. Sometimes you get coupons in gratitude, just saying. So if you have some time, a super amazing day, or a remarkable experience, be sure to write companies you like and tell them why. Tag them on social media, share the good they are doing, how they are operating a little more green.