The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
July 8, 2008

Dear GPC Pet Products,

Here’s my weekly consumer letter. Okay, not actually weekly. I didn’t write one last week. But I sent this one twice, both as an email (via http://www.gpcpet.com/Contact/default.aspx) and as an actual letter. Does that make up for last week?

July 7, 2008

GPC Pet Products
1600 Oregon Street
Muscatine , IA 52761

Dear GPC Pet Products:

I have been using World’s Best Cat Litter for several months now. I find it to be very effective and efficient; a little goes a long way. I have two cats, and compared to other litters I have tried, World’s Best clumps the best, tracks less, and smells better.

However, there is one aspect of the product that I don’t care for, and that is the packaging. It saddens me each time I must dispose of the heavy plastic bag, a bag that is not recyclable in my community and that is made from a non-biodegradable material. I urge you to consider switching to a biodegradable paper bag instead.

I have tried SweatScoop cat litter, which is packaged in a heavy paper bag. I appreciate that the bag can be recycled at the end of its life or composted, unlike the World’s Best Cat Litter bag. To be honest, I’m torn between the two brands. Because, while World’s Best Cat Litter seems to work better than the SweatScoop, it also seems to be less environmentally-friendly.

As you probably know, many consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious these days and want to do the right thing for the planet. Please help us to keep plastic out of our landfills and incinerators by switching to biodegradable or compostable packaging.

Sincerely,
Beth Terry

I feel that if I’m going to buy products packaged in plastic, the very least I can do is write to the company and ask them to reconsider their packaging choices. It’s the least any of us can do. Really. It’s soooo easy. Why don’t more people do it?
 

15 comments
Clare
Clare

Thanks for posting this! I've now sent them my own email--well, it's similar to yours, but with my own experiences or thoughts added in. Hopefully multiple letters will help convince them! It really is fantastic litter and it really is frustrating to me that the bag is plastic.

VivekB
VivekB

Good god, between me just discovering this blog, plus reading The Rockridge Green, this New York'er is turning more enviro-friendly every day.I chastised my wife yesterday as she puts every freaking thing we own into plastic bags during roadtrips, and she looked at me and said "When did you become so concious of the environment".AAAH! I must immediately do something harmful to my own body in order to compensate. (i'm joking, that was really a great letter, never even occurred to me to do such things).

CatMominPhilly
CatMominPhilly

This post came at a perfect time: I decided to stop 'bemoaning' my shopping experience yesterday, and turn "I should send a letter" into "Send a letter." I had to turn off my 'English degree' take 6 hours to write a perfect sentence hat...but I did it. You can read my letter at catmominphilly.blogspot.com It's about the consumerism behind mass-chain grocery bag sales and un-educated about recycling sales staff. If you have any tips for writing letters quickly...or effectively...can you direct me to them in your blog? Liz

Debbie
Debbie

What's odd about World's Best is that it seems to be marketed two ways, one in the yellow plastic bag at "specialty" shops, which is the way I most often see it, but I swear I once bought it in the grocery store in a paper bag. I believe the red bag here http://www.gpcpet.com/Products/WBCL/default.aspx is paper. Weird.

jennconspiracy
jennconspiracy

Ooh - I should write to them on this litter, too. Maybe we should have a letter writing campaign - I could like to it from the SustainLane review of the product...What contact email did you use at WBCL?

The Green Cat
The Green Cat

You inspired me! Okay, it took me months to actually send that letter to Seventh Generation about their plastic scoop but I finally did it! I also recently wrote Domino about their plastic bags for organic sugar and Horizon Organic about the random plastic pour spouts in their cartons. Thanks for the push Beth!

Jennie
Jennie

Hi Beth,You're right, more people should write letters. I know I get P.O. when I'm shopping and I have to choose which of my eco-beliefs to sacrifice at the alter of consumerism. I write letters to my congress people on occasion, and form letter replies are the best... :-DAnyway, your kitty litter reminded me, I started my kitty's raw diet today. I posted the initial results on my blog if you are still interested.

Green Bean
Green Bean

Great point, Beth. I love that you do this weekly. You are right. It is so easy - why don't we all make a point to do this every week or at least every month? I need to set aside a day on my calender devoted to this. If we don't ask for changes, they won't come.

Mazzajo
Mazzajo

Hi BethWell now I'm inspired - I've written a letter thanking a huge corporation for not encasing my rolled oats in plastic. I'd say their product is just about the only box in Australian supermarket cereal aisles which doesn't have a plastic bag inside, so I'm reminding them to keep up the good work. Maybe it hasn't even occurred to them they're doing a good thing. Just read your post on emptiness. It's actually kind of a relief to find out that people who appear to be so driven, on a clear mission in life (such as yourself) don't always feel so confident. It's really nice to know that Super Bloggers (the bloggers whose every single post I read) are human too! Good luck with your coffee withdrawal, you're a stronger woman than I.

Burbanmom
Burbanmom

Damn, girl, you write good letters! I think you persuaded ME to switch brands, and I don't even own a cat!

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

And Rob, regarding your comment on a previous post, yes, I read everything that everyone writes! And obviously your comments stay in my head and pop out in posts at random moments. So let this be a lesson to you. If you comment here, be prepared to be quoted when you least expect it!

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

Hi Tracey. I hate to be the one to tell you this (okay, I don't hate it or I wouldn't be doing it all the time on my blog) but most likely that "wax board" soy milk carton is actually coated with PE (aka #1 plastic.) Milk cartons, and that includes soy milk cartons, haven't been coated with actual wax since the 50's. I wrote about stuff like that here:http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2007/11/hidden-plastic.htmlBut that's not the point of your comment, and I do commend you for your hard core attitude. Nothing will change if people keep giving in... like I have with the cat litter!But but but... honest to god, nothing I have tried works better. The SweatScoop is dusty and doesn't clump properly and tracks all over the G.D. house. PLUS, it can't be good for the environment that I have to use soooo much of it. That's the other thing that's great about World's Best Cat litter. Yes, maybe it's made from corn (strike 1) and maybe it's in a plastic bag (strike 2) but I use much, much less of it than I do the SweatScoop.And yes, I know Allie has her homemade newspaper cat litter. And maybe after I kick all my other unhealthy behaviors and habits I'll have time to actually try it. But until then...I worship at your hardcore feet.:-)(Now where did I put that whip?)

Robj98168
Robj98168

Hell Beth- sometimes I am writing hourly letters, let alone weekly!I agree- if more people would write more letters then you would see products change- the proof is out there- the moral "majority" proves it when there is a commercial or a tv show or a movie they feel is offensive, the start writing sponsors, and the networks or whoever listen

Lisa Sharp
Lisa Sharp

I'm so glad you like my blog! The t-shirt yarn is awesome, I have almost finished my project with it, I will post a picture tomorrow, I hope. I will have to try the plastic bag yarn as well, my hubby already thinks I'm nuts so what could it hurt. haha ;)

Anarres Natural Health
Anarres Natural Health

At the Holistic World Expo and The Green Living Show, I was relentless in politely refusing plastic packaged samples and telling representatives that I might love their product, but couldn't buy it because I boycott plastic. Most folks thought that was nuts, I could tell, and two folks tried to convince me that HDPE was made from potatos. I got into a two show argument with the maker of a plastic sprouting machine. He wanted me to "admit" that it was okay to use the plastic because so many people's health would benefit from eating sprouts. He also wanted me to concede that because I use wax board carton soymilk with a plastic tab, that I should retail his sprouter or I didn't really care about my clients. The HDPE made from potato starch takes the cake, though.I seldom write letters, however. I admire you for doing so. I thoroughly enjoy reading your exchanges. It takes me so much more effort than emailing or signing a petition. Hmmm...I guess that makes it a "growth area" for me!