Monday, August 24, 2009

Trader Joe's blows: a follow-up

I was impressed that TJ's got back to my complaint regarding superfluous plastic waste in a mere matter of days. Check out the response I received:

We are currently evaluating the information that is available concerning our packaging.

We evaluate every product for packaging requirements and we continue to explore economical Earth friendly alternatives that can deliver freshness and shelf life without preservatives. We are also using compostible [not my typo] packaging for much of our packaged produce.

We are always working to balance our desire to use as little packaging as possible with our efforts to keep our products safe, fresh and cost effective. Since our company philosophy is based on providing quality merchandise at value prices, we must consider cost in the type of
packaging we choose.

We have forwarded your comments and concerns to our Product Steering Committee. At Trader Joe's, we are always striving to improve, and your comments give us the opportunity to do just that.

Hmmm. In terms of using biodegradable packaging for vegetables, I was skeptical. So I went to Trader Joe's (which is conventiently next door to my new apartment) and took a survey.

My findings? There is no reason to believe that the plastic is cellophane or any other compostable material. I believe if this were the case, the packing would be marked in some way.

I am thinking that the response refers to the cardboard-esque material used in conjunction with plastic in the packaging of vegetables.

Replying that the paper products used in packaging are compostable does not address my concern about the plastic being used unnecessarily.

Let Trader Joe's know you are concerned about waste produced by wrapping vegetables in plastic.

1 comment:

Mike Y said...

I love how they're so careful in their language. In no part of their reply do they concede that environmental concern is important. "Safe" and "fresh" are the only words that get any close to it, but they obviously do not equate eco-friendly since those adjectives are used to describe the delivering of their produces. #1 tactic in corporate PR: use language that tricks the concerned people into thinking the company cares about the issues without conceding or obligating themselves to any promise.