Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Cath Kidston:  Mum bought me a Cath Kidston bag as an early birthday present (not my bday till September!) because she knew I'd been drooling over them and it was on sale, but it came in 2 plastic bags and it was made in china :(

Result: This is the letter I got back from them.

Dear Susie,
Thank you for your e-mail.
We use bio degradable mailing packaging and keep our products in a plastic covers in order to keep them from getting marked whilst stored in our warehouse or whilst in transit.
We are always looking to reduce our environmental impact and have recently employed a new team of staff to look at this and the best way to do this.
An area on the website with information regarding these issues is in progress and will appear within the next few months.
Whilst producing our items in China may seem unethical to some, we are confident with the factories and staff we use.
Our product development team audit the factories and ensure they comply to working condition standards. They, along with Cath Kidston regularly visit the factories and are always impressed by what has been seen.
Using Recyclable materials or using sustainable FSC paper is ingrained in a lot of the things we do but we are not quite there in integrating this in to everything. It is certainly a priority and something we take seriously which is why we have employed a new team to do this.
I hope this answers some of your questions and if you have any other queries please let me know as I would be happy to look in to it myself or pass you to the most relevant person to help.
I hope you continue to enjoy Cath Kidston products and if you have any suggestions we would be more than happy to hear them.
If you need any more assistance please let me know.
Have a lovely day.
Kind Regards

Sooooo I think this is quite good, they seem to be thinking about being more green - although I do think a company that charges so much for their products could put some of their profits into using organic materials and recyclable packaging..hopefully in the future they will.
Pure Margarine:  Continued from last month's communications with Pure concerning their use of palm oil and hard to find recycling info on their packs.

Here's my reply to them -

Dear Pure,

Thank you for your response and for the information concerning recycling your packaging. I do feel that this information could be made clearer on the boxes as it is very hard to see and hope that this is taken into account in the future.
I was interested to hear that Kerry Foods is a member of the RSPO and that you seem to be taking some steps towards responsible palm oil use. However, I do feel that if you were truly happy with this solution to your use of palm oil in pure margarine you would also be happy to state that your product contains palm oil on the package. The only way to find out that palm oil is in pure margarine is to look on your website. This suggests that this information is concealed because a lot of your customers would be disappointed to know about Kerry Food’s use of palm oil. I have a number of vegan friends and those that I have discussed this with have been disgusted that palm oil is used in your product. I hope that the use of palm oil will be discontinued in pure margarine in favour of a more sustainable option. I will be looking for a new brand of margarine that suits my dietary requirements until this issue has been resolved.

I look forward to your reply,

(p.s. I'm really pissed of with Pure margarine!)

I haven't had a reply from them. Pah!

Asda:  I wanted to buy some nice pink sparkly sugary cake sprinkle things from Asda but I couldn't find recycling info on the plastic tube...

Dear Asda,
I wanted to buy some of your own brand cake decorations (like these http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/search/searchcontainer.jsp;jsessionid=KSOiwma6ib8B-cPkJCjvVQ**.oses4067-atg05?trailSize=1&searchString=sprinkles&domainName=Products&headerVersion=v1&_requestid=79483) while shopping in your store this afternoon. Although the recycling information on the packaging told me the pots were plastic and to check recyclability with my local council it did not tell me what type of plastic the pots were made of. I carefully looked all around the plastic pot and couldn’t see a plastic type or number moulded into the plastic. Without this information it is impossible to recycle plastic as most councils only accept specific types of plastic. I am very reluctant to buy items wrapped in plastic that I cannot dispose of responsibly (ie. By not sending them to landfill) and would like to know what type of plastic the packaging is made of and to request that this information is made clearer on the packaging in future.
I look forward to your reply,
Yours sincerely,

Result - I got an email saying that they'd received my message and would take a day or two to get back to me, that was last week - I'm not going to hold my breath!  I don't usually shop in Asda anway (they're owned by Walmart and don't have the best reputation) and I'll avoid it in future now!

EDIT - a couple of hours after I wrote this post I got an email from ASDA pointing me in the direction of their waste policy and letting me know that they're trying to find out what type of plastic the pots are made from so they can let me know - perhaps they're not so bad after all!!!


  1. It's really interesting that Asda doesn't even know what kind of plastic their own pots are made from! I'd say that's not a particularly promising sign, but I hope your inquiry encourages them to take a better look at their own environmental impact. Great work, here!

  2. Well done Susie!!! :)
    It's so important to make companies notice that they have to improve their environmental impact! You had the courage to do it, congratulations!
    Don't stop to be so careful about these aspects of the market, even if companies don't seem to care about them... sooner or later they'll have to conform to more green standards!

  3. Thanks so much for visiting Mary :)
    I've been surprised to learn that most of the companies I've contacted don't have information regarding recylability (is that a word?) or eco issues on hand and have to find out for me, although I appreciate them taking the time to do this I always wonder 'am I the first person to ask this? why don't they know?'

    Thanks Miss Danda :D I do feel a bit silly writing to companies about little things (like sprinkles packaging! lol) especially when there are such massive environmental issues that need acting on, but I hope at least it makes them think that somebody cares! :)


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