Monday, April 25, 2011

Call the Producer!

There continues to be items that I'm perplexed about when it comes to recycling - namely items that I acquire when others are unsure what to do with them (since I can't, in good conscious, tell them to just throw it out) e.g.: microwave popcorn (I actually buy bulk kernels now, and have an air popper), Pringles containers, and Folders coffee "tin" laced with paper containers. 

Something I've learned from other like-minded individuals is to just CALL! Most products, if not all, have their 1-800 numbers listed somewhere on the label - you can ask them how their items can be recycled. Also, I'd recommend calling even if you know it can't be recycled. Why? Because it lets them know that we ARE consciously thinking about the packaging that our products come in, and that we're basing their decisions, accordingly. If their sales drop - it won't be long before they start making significant changes. All times I've called - they have been deeply concerned that I, a consumer, will stop buying their product unless they alter their packaging. We actually have a lot more power than we think.

I also like to call companies out on their green washing - they need to know they're not fooling anyone (well, most of us). 


  1. Perhaps you could set up a list of products you've encountered (and perhaps your readers)as an easy reference guide...that could be rather valuable...wonderful post, thanks!

  2. For sure - good call! Well, for now... Orvilles - microwave popcorn bags - are not recyclable. The box they come in, is, the plastic that is around each individual bag is (though not by the City of Van, you have to pay to have that type of plastic down-cycled), and the bag is just "garbage".. I generally don't buy that for that very reason, but my roommate has some from before and so when she eats a bag, we try to get more use out of it, by using it as a garbage bag... not ideal, but better than nothing.

    I tried to call Pringles but I kept missing their hrs of operations, so the Pringles can remains in my "unknown" bin, in my place, until I get the chance to call.

    I also called the City to figure out where I could take CFL's because I know they have mercury in them - and I'm told London Drugs accepts them - but as with any recycling facility, I still need to make sure what they actually do with it. Some recycling companies will ship the goods offshore, where they will get recycled in a poor manner, on that exposes humans and the environment to harsh just be weary of that (I know that Happy Stan Recycling, where I take my soft plastics, just incinerates their foil-lined plastic, so I'm trying to avoid those all together in my packaging).

    I should point out -you may very well know the answer of whether it can be recycled or not, but keep calling, it is very important for them to hear that consumers are concerned, and not just one or two of them!