Do you ever feel like the world is out to conspire against your zero waste ambitions?
One way of feeling less helpless in the unending fight against plastic is to reach out to people in a position of power and let them know your thoughts by sending a letter. Sending a plastic complaint letter may not get anything changed, but hey: if you get enough people to do so, the situation may change. Even making companies aware that people are interested in no-waste solutions can be really valuable.
To make it really easy, I’ve included a sample letter here which allows you to easily change the verbage to fit the situation/product you’re talking about.
The sample letter
I’ve used this letter several times. Some times I’ve gotten an excited, positive reply that they’ll send it forward. Other times I’ve received polite, disinterested replies. Either way, I’ll keep plugging along in the hopes that it’ll eventually make a difference.
I really think it will…eventually.
Remember: even if the company doesn’t make a change, you can always vote with your money and find an alternative!
I absolutely love your (product) and have been a customer for many years. I really appreciate your commitment to (write something nice!).
I’m also avidly pursuing zero waste which means refusing all single-use products and diverting all trash from the landfill. I’m doing this because a lot of plastic ends up floating in our oceans, polluting our lands, or just sitting around in landfills for far longer than it was ever used.
Unfortunately, your product does not conform with my zero waste expectations because (explain the problem).
I would love to feel good about repurchasing this product. Might I suggest (2-3 options for alternative packaging)?
I really appreciate your consideration on this issue and hope to hear back from you.
Feel free to edit it as necessary, but also feel free to just copy, paste, and make your voice heard!
So where do I actually send this stuff?
Most companies have a contact form on their website for feedback. Simply copy and paste the letter with the pertinent details changed, add your contact details, and wait patiently for a reply. (I personally prefer email to the phone number listed on packaging as there’s a virtual paper trail tracking your opinion. You never can tell with a phone call.)
Submitting through the contact form will be the quickest way to get this done. But the better option is to send it directly to a real person, if possible.
To find a real person, I like to search their staff directories (lots of smaller companies have these) or reach out to the company on Twitter. If I send them a DM asking for an exact point of contact, there’s a decent chance you’ll actually get a useful reply. If you have a blog or social media presence, their PR contact is also not a bad person to reach out to.
Either way, sending a plastic packaging complaint letter can be a great way to flag to companies that people really are interested in positive, environmentally-friendly change.
Plus – with this letter – it should take you no time at all to make your opinion heard!
Have you ever sent a zero waste complaint letter to a company? If not, what are you waiting for? Who will you be sending this letter off to first?