Single-use Packaging : An email story.

Packaging Peters of Kensington Jan 2020

From: Peter’s of Kensington 
Sent: Tuesday, 21 January 2020 5:41 pm
To: me
Subject: A reminder to review your products from www.petersofkensington.com.au 

A quick reminder for you, Jane Banfield. Thanks again for buying these products from www.petersofkensington.com.au. We would like to remind you that writing a review of these products will help us improve our customer satisfaction.  Cristel – Mutine Removable Saucepan w/Glass Lid 18cm/2.1L

23 January 2020
Dear Peters team
I feel very angry.  You have sent the 2 saucepans I ordered with such a quantity of plastic packaging that it insults and dishonours the needs of our family, future generations of New Zealanders and our dearly-loved natural world.   I have advised others not to buy from you again until you change your processes.
This packaging is totally unnecessary. The saucepans come from France in cardboard cartons and in an individual plastic bag (which you should ask your suppliers to leave out).  You could have put a bit of string around the two cartons and sent them like that. But no, each went into a separate oversized carton, which you then filled with quantities of plastic bubble wrap, sealed with plastic tape and then wrapped with plastic parcel strapping.  You then sent each giant carton separately so they arrived with different couriers on different days.
I don’t know whether this is the way you want to treat our NZ environment? If not, would you be willing to confirm that you are changing to eco-friendly ways of distributing your goods.  I am sure you agree we all need to work together as good stewards to regenerate our environment, not create unnecessary amounts of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled here in NZ,  wasteful quantities of cardboard, recycled or not, and excessive carbon miles? Or does your company believe they are exempt from a responsibility to care for those who come after us?
I await your response.  Sincerely ….

From: Enquiries – Peter’s of Kensington 
Sent: Friday, 24 January 2020
Hi Jane, Thank you for your email.    At Peter’s of Kensington, we are fully committed to reducing our environmental impact. As such, we utilise a mixture of biodegradable and recyclable air pillows, and all of our cardboard boxes are made from recycled material. We also try and make sure that the item you have purchased has a safe delivery to your location – however we understand you disappointment in regards to this and have forwarded your feedback to our manager.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.  
Regards,  Jacqueline  

Friday 24 January 2020
Dear Jacqueline
I value the rapidity of your reply.  I know you will be following systems, and respect it is not your personal voice, but such a response comes across as patronising, fatuous and completely unacceptable from a company such as yours.

Are you saying you have no plans to change from ridiculous amounts of plastic packaging/ use of cartons that are far too big?   To state that your company is ‘committed to reducing your environmental impact’ is extroadinary!  I view this packaging behaviour as unreasonable, uncaring and showing a total lack of commitment to any such thing.  At this stage of the earth’s history, our natural world here in NZ , not to mention your own in Australia, is too precious to have companies such as yours decimate it by not taking care.

Yes, your state your cartons are made from ‘recycled material’ but they are still oversize,  still not only a huge waste of tree resources but also engendering unnecessary carbon miles from taking up so much space on trucks/ and air or sea freight and couriers to my home.  Your plastic air pillows are neither recyclable where I live, nor biodegradable.   They are made from non-renewable resources of oil.  Soft plastic exported by you to our part of the world, simply ends up in a hole in the ground polluting our land, if it doesn’t blow out from the rubbish truck or landfill and end up in the environment.

There are many alternatives to plastic bubble wrap, just check with local suppliers in Australia for such things as  https://sustainability.energy/eco-friendly-alternatives-bubble-wrap/  or just use your office shredded paper.
I would value talking with whoever manages your shipping department. Would you be willing to ask them to call me?

(A call was a lot to hope for. They didn’t).
…………………………………..

“Now what?” I ask myself.  After filling out the Trade Me feedback box in a similar vein, I choose  to refocus my energy elsewhere.  I will trust that other people will see my feedback and feel moved to point out their own anger or sadness about destructive and excessive packaging they receive.  I’m the ‘100th monkey’ who knows that it is the solidarity of others doing the same that will change hearts and minds of those at ‘Peters of Kensington’ and beyond! Screenshot (49)

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