Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shopping Organically

I have received invitations to a new webshop, called ShopOrganic where you can get organic products, which is a very fine endeavor, since such products aren't always easy to find in your local supermarket.

However, I've got this bug about packaging, which I've mentioned in several blog entries. I noticed, for example, that they are selling liquid detergents in plastic bottles, rather than more environmentally friendly powders in recycled cardboard containers. So (of course) I wrote them a letter:
Hi ShopOrganic!
Congratulations on your new store. I hope it is successful, since it isn’t always easy to find the products I want in my local Safeway/Vons or other more “sustainable” shops that I have to drive to.
There is an issue that has been bothering me for a while, though, which I would appreciate your addressing, namely sustainable packaging. As I wrote in my blog candy-wrappers and Remembering waxed paper, there are a lot of more or less organic products packaged in decidedly non-biodegradable or recyclable wrappers.
I would appreciate being able to read on your site what products are packaged in, as well as bugging your suppliers about their packaging. If customers were aware of how unsustainable their packaging is, they would put pressure on suppliers by not buying the products, forcing them to find the right solution!
Of course liquids in plastic bottles can be just as problematic, since plastic is usually a petroleum product. But if companies could work out a reuse method, I’d be delighted! For that reason, for example, I buy only laundry products in recycled cardboard cartons, rather than carrying home a lot of just plain water in a plastic jug!
Here is their reply:
Hello Bonnie,
Thank you for your email.
We share your concern about the type and amount of packaging with a lot of products out there. Our plan is to have each product on our site indicate the type of packing and its recyclability (probably a recycle symbol indicating if it is recyclable much like other symbols we have, e.g. kosher, organic, etc). We will also be carry a number of bulk products in the near future; in other words, more product and less individual packing.
We have and will continue to discuss this issue with our suppliers as well.
Also, we use recycled and recyclable packing material, and try to use as little as possible to get our products to our customers in the most environmentally economical way.
Again, we appreciate your email and we are supportive. We will do what we can to help the planet.
Healthy regards,

Gerry
gerry@shopOrganic.com
shopOrganic.com - For The Greater Goods (SM)
520.792.0804 x204

1 comment:

bonbayel said...

I just sent an email to Gerry suggesting that they hook up with TerraCycle both to market the recycled products and as a way to recycle the packaging of the products they sell.