Last week, my partner watched a video on Facebook for a major grocery chain promoting a recipe for pulled pork burgers. This included plastic wrapped coleslaw, individually plastic wrapped bread rolls, and pre-cooked plastic wrapped pulled pork.
He wrote a comment in response to this post, commenting that some of these items do not need to be individually wrapped in plastic. Namely, the bread rolls, which they had previously sold lose in paper bags.
The company posted a generic comment about freshness and continuing to improve their environmental policy, which, on a side note, they have recently vowed to stop selling plastic straws and reduce their produce packaging (you can read about this here in “Zero Waste wins so far in 2018”). Whatever I think of their response, I do credit to them for responding to the comment.
However, on this post, he was also bombarded by comments from people, attacking him, telling him he better NEVER use buy something with plastic packaging, otherwise, he was nothing but a hypocrite on a “high horse” criticizing people (I’m paraphrasing, they were a lot more critical and rude).
These responses, to me, seem similar to the responses that everyone in Zero Waste gets – and these come from a place of guilt, or at least a personal reflection on their habits, rather than them being advocates for the company. You can read more about these responses in my blog “I now understand my judgment was about me, not them.”
This all left both my partner and I feeling like we were alone on this journey and that we might not ever make any progress in this movement (until I logged onto facebook and talked to you guys!).
But, I wanted to share this in case any of you have had a similar experience when standing up for what you believe in. I think we need to fight back and support each other, and hold companies accountable for their decisions.
If we could get to a place where companies had to make small changes on single-use plastic with items that don’t need packaging- we wouldn’t have solved the problem, but we would be in a much better place environmentally – but this will only happen if we continue to keep companies accountable and ignore the “haters”. I want to challenge you all to challenge companies to make small changes, changes that won’t “affect their quality” or severely hinder their “convenience” factor. Let’s help them make some baby steps today.