Reducing plastic waste

Writing to food companies

Why should you write a letter to a food company?

  • If you are unhappy with the way a food company is dealing with things like single use plastics, a good thing you can do is write a letter to them

How can you structure the letter?

  • You can do this many ways depending on which food company it is, and whether it is a very big company or a small one, but there are some good rules to go by when writing letters
  • You can see these rules here

What are the main points to include in the letter?

  • Important points might be things like what you want them to do, what your solution is, and why you want them to do it.
  • It’s also worth saying that you will recommend against using their product until they change. If they get enough letters like this, they might see a commercial benefit in changing.
  • You can also see Basic Activism Principles for more

How can you find the contact details for the company?

  • Most companies have websites, but they often only have contact forms for customer service
  • Companies generally want people to know about them, but they don’t want people to contact them, expecially if they are going to complain about their packaging
  • For a lot of companies, you need to find out who the actual owner is, for example in the letter below we found out that Just Juice was owned by Suntory
  • Then we searched ‘Suntory’ and ‘chief executive Australia’ and found some old news articles
  • We then searched the name in the articles to see if he was still the chief executive, and he was
  • Then we found the company’s office address from their website and sent the letter to him directly

To Just Juice on plastic packaging and plastic straws

Dear Mr Fullerton,

We are the G-Force from (primary school). We are trying to eliminate plastic waste from our school. Our school canteen sells your 200ml Just Juice boxes. We like to use your boxes, but we have realised that your plastic straws and plastic straw wrappers can’t be recycled. Also, every piece of plastic ever made is still in the environment today and this is causing a massive waste problem.

We’ve seen cardboard straws being used at cafes and we wonder if you can put them in your juice boxes with paper wrapping rather than plastic. That way the boxes, straws and wrappers can all be recycled together. Also paper can be recycled until it turns into compost, whereas plastic stays in the environment forever.

We are recommending to the canteen to discontinue using Just Juice until you have stopped using plastic.

Yours sincerely

Yassine, on behalf of G-Force
11 September 2020

To Mrs Mac’s Pies on plastic wrapping

Dear Mr Slaughter,

We  are from the Aranda Primary School G-Force and we are trying to reduce plastic waste from our canteen. Our canteen sells your pies and sausage rolls. On your website, you said you were sustainable and your food waste gets turned into energy. But meanwhile, you are individually wrapping each of your products in single-use plastic. Every piece of plastic ever made is still in the environment today and this is causing a massive waste problem. 

You could wrap your products in paper or cardboard which can be composted and can help gardens. We are recommending that the canteen stop using Mrs Mac’s Pies until you have stopped using plastic. 

Yours sincerely, 

Yassine, on behalf of G-Force
11 September 2020

To Bulla on plastic lids for frozen yoghurt

Dear Mr Hood,

We are from the Aranda Primary School G-Force. We are trying to eliminate plastic waste from our school canteen. They sell your frozen yoghurt. We all like to have them but we don’t like that they are covered in plastic. Every piece of plastic ever made is still in the environment today and this is causing a massive waste problem. If you would like to help us reach our goal of eliminating plastic from our school, you could use cardboard lids, cardboard containers and wooden paddles.

We are recommending that the canteen stop using your frozen yoghurt until you have stopped using plastic. 

Yours sincerely,

Yassine, on behalf of G-Force
11 September 2020

Here is the response we got from Bulla

Dear Yassine  

Thank you so much for your letter. It is nice to hear from you and I am so glad that you took the time to write to me personally. 

Bulla is an Australian family-owned business for over 110 years, and we care very passionately about the environment so it can be shared with future generations. 

You will be pleased to hear that Bulla is in the process of converting the Frozen Yogurt packaging from plastic to paperboard. This change is due to take place by the end this year. It does however take over twelve months to make a change such as this. That is a long time I know, but there are so many things to do. First, we need to source appropriate packaging that is suitable for our equipment. Secondly, we need to trial the packaging on our factory equipment so that it runs smoothly, Finally, we must ensure that our amazing product has the same quality and taste in the new packaging materials. 

We have been working on this for some time and hope to have the change finalized by the end of the year. So, I do hope you, and your friends, will be patient with us and continue to buy our products to enjoy. 

At Bulla we ensure that all our packaging is recyclable. To achieve this, all packaging is assessed using the Planet Ark Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) tool.

We are moving away from plastic where possible and introducing paperboard packaging. We have a range of delicious Ice Cream products that use paper packaging, such as our Bulla Splits, Bulla Icy Pops and Bulla Crunch Sticks and the paper packaging is 100% recyclable on all of these. Recently, we launched a yummy range of Ice Cream Tubs “Murray Street” all packed in paperboard tubs, which are 100% recyclable and made from renewable material. 

Thank you again for your letter and for caring so much about our environment. I hope you are happy with the approach we have taken here at Bulla. 

Kind regards
Allan Hood | Chief Executive Officer
February 2021

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