Thursday, 22 October 2009

No more plastic post....

I spent a happy couple of hours this morning venting my frustration about the amount of mail we get in this house that arrives wrapped up in plastic. It's driving me crazy!! I've opted out of all the junk mail as much as possible, but this is post I want, and it's covered in plastic! So I've written to all the organisations that I can recall being annoyed by their plastic 'envelopes', and I'll be keeping an eye on the postbox so I can have my revenge on any more letters that dare to arrive in a plastic bag!

Here's an example of one of my letters (to Amnesty International, who I think really should know better!) in case anyone's interested.


I enjoy reading the Amnesty Magazine that I, as a supporter, receive from you. However, I would enjoy it even more if the type of packaging used for the magazine was reconsidered. Each time I receive the magazine I have the frustrating problem of what to do with the plastic bag it arrives in. These bags currently cannot be recycled in my area, and even if I reuse them they ultimately end up in landfill.

I am writing, therefore, to ask you to reconsider the type of packaging you use for the magazines you post out. I support Friends of the Earth and the Dr Hadwen Trust and both of these organisations send out their magazines in paper envelopes. I have also seen magazines sent out in cardboard sleeves. A change in the packaging of your magazine, perhaps to one of the types I have mentioned, would enhance my satisfaction in supporting your important work.

Please will you pass on my comments to the relevant people.

I look forward to hearing back from you concerning this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Miss Susie Biscuit."

Has anyone else tried doing this? Did you have any success? What can we do about these naughty plastic posters??


  1. Great post! Is there anywhere near you where you can recycle carrier bags - one of the supermarkets perhaps? In many of those recycling things you can put the polythene bags that toilet roll, kitchen roll and magazines come in, so it's worth asking.

    Well done on writing to the manufacture though; that's awesome.
    I used to feel exactly the same way about paper envelopes being better than polythene, but now I'm not so sure after reading a guest post on our site from a woman who produces recycled polythene bags.

    It's very confusing trying to do the 'best thing'!

  2. Hi Mrs Green :D

    I'll look into the bag recycling places (I don't use bags anymore so I hadn't thought of those!) Unfortunately I can't get to a supermarket without a looong train journey, but I'll think on it! Any idea who I could ask about it though? I'm thinking find a bag recycling point, find out who owns in and email them? I don't think supermarket people would know (I used to work in a supermarket and I don't know!)

    Ideally I'd like hemp-paper envelopes, but I don't think anyone would go for them!

    You're right! I'm confused now! Oh dear! Maybe plastic would be better, if it was recycled..but then it's still, originally, made from oil, which is unsustainable, which is my main issue with plastic, whereas paper is more sustainable and while it's being grown it makes us some nice oxygen! I'm off for more thinking about this now! :)

  3. WOW!! What an awesome letter and post!! :)

    About what is better...hmm?? - Yeah, it's a really confusing point!
    Probably depends on what can be recycled locally, and if it really IS recyled!!

    Some people (and websites) say more energy and resources are needed to make paper bags than plastic bags (and that's why cloth bags are best, but I digress...) what about the post envelopes though?

    Personally, I just cancelled most of the stuff or opted for e-mail only (though e-tech also has its problems..) We still get some stuff that I don't quite know what to do with.. So do tell if you find out anything!

  4. I wondered the same thing Layla, is producing paper worse than plastic, there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer does there! Oh dear! I guess if I get replies from anyone I wrote to I'll write back and ask them to consider publishing online versions aswell, I could probably convert a few more of my paper-post to e-post, you've given me motivation to do that now! Thanks :)


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