Plastic Packaging Awareness

I have something called PPA, or what I call, Plastic Packaging Awareness.  I’ve had it for a few years now -since I first became pregnant.  I think I acquired it through motherhood; but it came on slowly.  I was thrilled to find Beth’s website at to learn that it doesn’t just strike mothers. A lot of people have PPA! Was there a cure?  No. But a support system exists where people can share their stories of how they manage to live their lives with less plastic – especially the disposable kind.

We have made great strides in out home to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle – in that order. So, I was excited to find an etsy seller (my favorite online store) who was selling eco-friendly unPaper towels so I could give up the paper towel habit. I have been using rags in place of my paper towels, but they don’t do all of the jobs to my OCD satisfaction. They leave lint behind, so I opted to try these 100% birdseye cotton towels for counter tops.

I was disappointed to find a plastic packing envelope in my mailbox today. When I opened it, it contained two plastic sleeves to hold these, practically indestructible cotton cloths!

So, I asked myself, “what would Beth do?” She would contact the company and offer suggestions to become more eco-friendly. So that’s what I did. Here is my email:

“Hi, I received my unPaper towels today and they look great. I can’t wait to use them. They came just in time because I ran out of paper towels and don’t want to replace them. We are eliminating disposable plastic from our home to be better stewards of the environment. So, as you can see I was excited to get your eco-friendly unPaper towels.

I was disappointed to find each set placed inside a plastic sleeve and then packaged in a plastic packing envelope. You are already providing a wonderful eco-friendly product, addressing packaging would be the next logical step. For 6 little towels I have 3 larger pieces of plastic that will be on this earth forever. They will never go away. Granted I am saving trees and eliminating the plastic wrap that comes on a paper towel roll, permanently. But, I feel badly about all this extra plastic.

Have you considered just putting a heavy paper sleeve (band) around the towels that you can place your label sticker on? These are not breakable items and will not scratch, so you might also consider mailing them in recycled paper envelopes and use paper packing tape when needed. I would imagine that your customers may feel as I do and really appreciate it if you took this a step further.

Thank you for listening to my suggestions.

Best Regards,

I’ll let you know if I get a response and if she gives her etsy store an eco-friendly make-over.

On the upside, I received another little package today from another etsy seller (I know I’m addicted) that was really earth-friendly.  The item above is just a little handmade felt sleeve for my iphone.  We are taking a trip soon and I want to protect the phone from scratches since my toddler views some applications on it to occupy him when nothing else works. (We’re a tv-free home, but this is our little media vice for him).

This seller wrapped the sleeve in tissue paper and then wrapped it in raffia with a string to hold her thank you card.  The pin wasn’t necessary and is covered in plastic, but can be reused (and was a nice touch).  The envelope was made out of paper and taped to make it firm. So, there was plastic tape involved, but she recycled paper to make her own envelope. I have to give her a thumbs up for being mindful and pretty earth-friendly.

Have you ever written to a company to make earth-friendly suggestions? I want to hear your story!

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8 thoughts on “Plastic Packaging Awareness”

  1. Here’s what the creator of the owl ipod case had to say to my positive feedback:

    “I am glad you like the case :)

    After a few sales of my non-breakable items I saw there was no need for plastic, so I found some nice strong paper and start making my own envelopes to be as environmental friendly as possible.

    Thanks for the awesome feedback,


  2. And the creator of the awesome unPaper towels is thinking about making changes! Yay!

    “Oh, I totally understand and I apologize for causing disappointment! I was just lamenting this with another seller yesterday. I do not use plastic for my baker’s dozen sets at all. I wrap them in tissue paper. It is a dilemma that think about and I do care about.

    I will take your suggestions into consideration and will keep them in mind as I make future decisions on packaging. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know your feelings.”

  3. Great job Deborah! You’ve shown that one person can make a difference and inspire others (me) to give it a try too!

  4. I love Etsy as well!! I’m having a quilt and pillow covers made right now.

    I try and remember to let the sellers know when they did use reusable and recycling packaging that I was really happy with it. I think pats on the back keep people doing the right thing. And your letter was good too! Nice but to the point.

  5. I love Etsey because the sellers are real people we can communicate with! For an Etsey seller to make packaging changes is easy compared to a big corporation that must change its whole process in order to be responsive to customers’ requests.

    Your letters to the sellers are really great, and their responses are as well. What I have learned to do (which takes practice because it’s easy to forget) is to ask for no plastic packaging when placing the order. Like I said, with Etsey it’s really easy to do because they are real people. I explain why and hope that it will not only reduce the plastic in my own order but in their other customers’ orders as well.

  6. Funny you posted this- I have tags, safety pins and ribbon I’ve been meaning to send back to Kate Quinn and write a post about it. All the waste. It breaks my heart. All I did was remove it. It’s been in my closet for over a year now. I need do it- thanks for the inspiration!!! :)

  7. just found your site surfing..
    i am a etsy seller and i recycle all my packing material.. i know it’s not the cutest but i put a big sticker on saying i am not scruffy i am recycled!

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