My Plastic-free Life - Forum: Citizen Action Simple:Press Version 5.7.2 Beth Terry on Yoshi's will not adopt "offer first" plastic straw policy Citizen Action That's very disappointing. This week, I'm going to publish a blog post about straw-free campaigns and a new toolkit for creating a straw-free campaign. Could you please email me at beth [at] myplasticfreelife [dot] com to discuss? I'd like to find out why Yoshi's won't do it.

Wed, 18 Nov 2015 08:11:34 -0800
Nenya on Yoshi's will not adopt "offer first" plastic straw policy Citizen Action I wrote to the general manager and restaurant manager at Yoshi's Oakland to ask if they would be willing to adopt an offer first policy for plastic straws in glasses of water. I've noticed that there is a plastic straw in every single glass brought to the table. Never mind all of the cocktails they serve. My e-mail was addressing the straws in water, specifically. It is such an easy policy to implement. I was hoping that they would at least consider it. I also included this link:

He wrote me back within the hour and said that they "have recycling policies in place" and that Yoshi's "cannot adopt an offer first policy". Needless to say I'm extremely disappointed. He offered no explanation as to why not. Plastic straws can't be recycled.

Any one else have any success contacting local businesses about this particular policy?

Thu, 29 Oct 2015 10:10:04 -0700
plasticfantastickenya on Recycling Campaign in Kenya Citizen Action Hi Beth and everyone else!

My partner and I are creating a plastic bag recycling campaign in Kenya.

It's in association with our social enterprise, (check out our page on Facebook!), which is engaged in environmental consciousness and educating the public around plastic pollution. It is an idea born out of our passion to use art for social change. Our focus at this time - in creating this education and awareness - is through providing access points for people to throw away their plastic bags, and then upcycling those plastic bags to create jewelry. 

We have not setup the access points yet, but have the support of a some local organizations in Nairobi. What we need to do now is create/purchase waste bins for people to throw their plastic away in. We don't want to purchase large plastic waste bins to collect the plastic, and today when watching Beth's TED talk, we saw a picture of the recycling bin she had setup for the water filters.

2 questions:

  1. Does anyone know what the name of the bin container is technically called that Beth used in her TED talk? We would like to find them here in Nairobi, but aren't sure where to look. So having a name would be nice to start with.
  2. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can obtain support or funding with our recycling campaign?
  3. Ok, 3 questions :) Does anyone have any ideas on creating a successful way to have people separate their trash?

Any and all comments are welcome!


Sun, 05 Oct 2014 04:08:01 -0700
Noemidlp on Miscellaneous events/gatherings Citizen Action So cool to read everyone's posts and advice. Thank you all!

Is it permissible for me to promote two screenings of Bag It in the NYC metro area/NJ? If so, here is the info:


One is part of the Paradigm Shifts Film Festival in downtown Brooklyn. My small non profit is involved in producing this festival. Bag It is the film for March 2, at 3 PM, the family matinee, accompanied by live musical selections from a kids musical. Very cute! info at http://www.environmentaleducat.....-festival/ Special discount code EEF for $6.25 tix.


The other is free and open to the public: being sponsored by Sustainable Lawrence, the Sierra Club, the Lawrence Library, and EEF. March 15, at 2 PM. Special speaker after the screening is Exec. Director of the Surfrider Foundation, Northeast chapter (Rise Above Plastics!) Info at this link:



And Stockton State College (Stockton NJ) has a Bag It screening coming up 7 PM on April 25th, sponsored by the South Jersey Shore chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and S.A.V.E. at the college. I don't have a link for that yet. I will post if I find one.


I don't know the policy on promoting events, so please forgive my blatant promotions. However, two of the three events are free. And it's for a good cause - grass roots support of ditching the single use disposable bag (paper and plastic). 

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:31:36 -0800
eascello on Mountain Rose Herbs Citizen Action I don't know if anyone here orders from them, but I have heard nothing but good things about Mountain Rose Herbs, so decided to purchase some beeswax (in bar form) from them, as well as some small glass jars to make hand salve.  The company also sells a variety of herbs and essential oils.  Much to my disappointment, my order included a large amount of plastic packaging.  I sent them an email to express my concern, and they replied.  I am including both letters, but am unsure of where to go from here.  I really did receive an inordinate amount of plastic packaging (each beeswax bar was wrapped in a plastic wrapper, tons of plastic peanuts, etc), but they seem to downplay it...




I purchased beeswax and some small glass jars from your company in December in order to make hand salve and lip balm. I (as well as the recipients of the salve) were incredibly impressed with the quality of your products.  Your company does such a great job of providing high quality, organic ingredients.

I was disappointed, however, when I received my package by the large amount of plastic packaging that was included. I thought that by ordering a solid bar of beeswax I would avoid any plastic packaging that might be present in the pastilles, but each bar was wrapped in its own individual plastic bag. There was also an abundance of plastic wrap encasing the box of glass jars.

Plastic pollution is a significant problem facing our planet, and I, as I'm sure others who are ordering from your company, am trying to reduce the amount of disposable plastic waste I generate. As your company presents itself as one that is Earth-minded, I would hope that you would be a leader in finding alternative packaging solutions.  Recycled packing paper seems like it would be just as good of an option as a packing material.

I appreciate your time and attention to this matter, and hope that you are able to seek more sustainable packaging practices. Until then, I will no longer be able to order from your company.

Thank you,





Hello Elizabeth,

Thank you for contacting us and for sharing your concerns regarding the
packaging of your order! 

I did want to take a moment and touch base with you regarding the plastic
pouches used in our packaging. The "air pillows" we are using are both
bio-degradable and fully recyclable; in addition we have a very compact, low
energy machine that fills the pillows as needed right here in our shipping
department! This eliminates the need to have them trucked to us and requires
no storage space at all. 

These air pillows weigh considerably less than the green paper we pack with,
which also helps in our efforts to try to keep shipping costs down, whilst
working within our sustainability beliefs.  We are also in the process of
starting to use the bubble wrap pouches (bags) with self sealing tops which
eliminate the need for extra packing tape; these are made from the same
completely biodegradable bubble wrap we have always used. Our highly trained
shipping staff packages all materials in the most efficient way to ensure
that your package arrives to your door in pristine condition.  

Unfortunately, It is not easy to predict what conditions the package will
need to travel through as we ship all over the country so it is more
efficient for us, as well as our customers, to take this extra step  with
the packaging our products, to eliminate returned items due to damage. While
some of the choices may not seem sustainable on the surface, our
environmental impact is of top priority to us through every step of our
business and all of these options have been carefully considered by our
operations managers, department heads, owners, and staff combined.  We are
constantly striving to find new ways to ensure that we are meeting our
sustainability goals while meeting our customers' expectations. 

All of our packaging and shipping material is tediously screened by other
green businesses who work within the same paradigm as Mountain Rose Herbs.
We use recycled post-consumer newsprint to fill the voids of your parcel,
the boxes we use for shipping your order are made from 100% post-consumer
corrugation material, the plastic bubble wrap we use to cushion merchandise
during transit is manufactured from 100% post-consumer plastic resin, and
for our larger customers that order pallet quantities, you will notice that
the stretch film for your shipment is a green hue and this is because it is
manufactured from a plant based resin and is 100% bio-compostable

I am more than happy to pass your concerns along to our product managers and
shipping managers for consideration in our practices. 

I hope that this helps explain our packaging a little and please let us know
if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Have a fantastic day!    

Anna | Customer Service

Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:30:32 -0800
Dana on Trader Joe's Produce, letters and suggestions? Citizen Action Did someone already start a Trader Joe's petition regarding plastic? If not, I saw this one online:


Wed, 07 Aug 2013 14:33:02 -0700
Elizabeth on Stop & Shop no longer giving credit for reusable bags Citizen Action I had to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store this morning, and while I go to Whole Foods for most things, it is 35 minutes away, and I just needed applesauce.

ANYWAY--I went to the Stop and Shop down the road, and apparently, they are no longer giving customers the 5-cent credit for bringing their own reusable bags!  I called the manager of the store when I got home, and apparently it is a company wide decision.  He took my name and address, and said that he is passing along all of the concerns relating to this matter to corporate, but I am concerned that if more people don't say something, this will not only go into effect, but become more widespread amongst other grocery chains.

So if any of you are on the East Coast, and have a local Stop & Shop, please call and let them know you want them to bring back the 5 cent credit for reusable bags!!!

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:20:07 -0700
Dana on Plastic Bag Ban Coming To A Vote in CA Senate! Citizen Action CA Senator Alex Padilla's SB405 is coming to a vote right now! My understanding is this comes up within the next 24 hours. Learn more and contact your CA state senator to urge approval.

Thu, 30 May 2013 10:34:50 -0700
Beth Terry on Tijuana Flats Restaurant Citizen Action Hi. Thanks for writing your letter! Will you please update us with any response you get?

Wed, 08 May 2013 07:41:38 -0700
Eve Stavros on Tijuana Flats Restaurant Citizen Action Hi Renee!

Welcome to the discussion!  Yes, it's frustrating to see how many restaurants unthinkingly promote such a wasteful dining style.  Hope your letter gets at least a response.  If they knew that more folks like us are choosing not to patronize such places, they might make some changes!

Tue, 07 May 2013 06:43:10 -0700
Dapeekas on Tijuana Flats Restaurant Citizen Action Hello All!

This is my very first post and i'm excited about it.


I'm not sure if any of you have heard of the Mexican restaurant called Tijuana Flats. Its a smaller chain in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana. I went there for the first time recently and was appalled by their use of one time plastic. I emailed them this letter and hopefully hear back from them soon! 



Dear Tijuana Flats,

I recently went to your restaurant for the very first time.. I had read very good reviews online about the friendly staff and yummy food. I was very excited to experience your store, which was described as 'Hip'.
My first impression was great, all of the staff was so friendly and accommodating. They made sure my party and I understood how to order our food and even made a few suggestions from the menu. 
My excitement ended when our drinks arrived. They were in styrofoam cups, with a plastic lid and plastic straw. I was a bit distraught by the amount of non-degradable waste just in one drink. When our food arrived I was even more distraught. The food was served with plastic utensils and on a plastic plate. I must say the food was good and I did enjoy it.
I would like to ask that you consider discontinuing your use of one time use plastic beverage containers, utensils and dishes. Your company is creating a huge amount of waste that not only is non-degradable but also has toxins in it that can get into your food. I understand that you are trying to create an interesting fun 'hip' place to be but there is nothing 'hip' about polluting our environment. 
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response. 





Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:07:39 -0700
Unexpected Farm Girl on Superstore's (Loblaw) Policy on Spoiled Produce Citizen Action To all people out there that are interested in the reduction of waste going to the landfill, I ask you to take a moment to consider my request for help. I know that this blog is specific to plastic, however as my journey that started in reducing my plastic consumption, has morphed into a general attempt to decrease waste.

It has come to my attention that Superstore (owned by Loblaw) has a policy for the disposal of spoiled produce to be wet compacted and sent directly to the dump. For those of you who have read our blog host's book, "Plastic Free" by Beth Terry, you will know that this creates methane gasses that are bad for our environment. 

I am currently trying to start a campaign for the review of this policy, so that spoiled food waste can be used by farmers to fed their animals; with the ever so important benefit of closing of the nitrogen cycle. Please visit my humble blog for further details: The Diary of a City Girl Turned Farmer, at You will find a template letter addressed to Loblaw for interested parties to e-mail to Loblaw's Social Responsibility Department. 


Thank you for listening. 

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 10:50:22 -0700
Beth Terry on speaker Citizen Action Hi. Email me at beth [at] myplasticfreelife [dot] com to discuss possibilities. Would love to discuss.

Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:16:46 -0700
hastingsv on speaker Citizen Action We are looking for a Plastic Free Speaker in Central Massachusetts for November. We have some funds! Thanks

Mon, 03 Sep 2012 03:33:22 -0700
Beth Terry on Food Network or Plastic Network? Citizen Action Thanks for sending that letter, Eve! You never know what impact you might have. One of the stories in my book is of a woman who got one of the Disney TV shows to stop showing people drinking bottled water, so it can be done! (I wish Nancy Botwin on Weeds didn't always have an iced coffee in a plastic cup with a plastic straw sticking out of her mouth.)

Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:23:17 -0700
Eve Stavros on Food Network or Plastic Network? Citizen Action So, I'm watching my favorite cooking show and the chef whips out yet another plastic bag to pipe devilled egg filling and I thought, "AHA!!! Part of the problem is the thoughtless promotion of single-use plastic in the media that is so subliminally I didn't even see it until today"!!!  And then another show featured pouring warm marinade into a bag full of meat to sit for a couple of hours. And then another, and another - dozens of bags being used all over the channel.  We, as cooks & consumers, are being shown that it's not only OK to use plastic for food prep & storage, but hey, look, the experts prefer it!  So, I decided to address the problem by sending the following comment via email on their website.  And yeah, I know I'm asking them to not feature their sponsor's products in such a big way, but maybe if more viewers would join in voicing their concerns, something could change.  After all, if these experts could show the millions of viewers alternative ways to do things, it might catch on. 

"I am a serious foodie & Food Network fan who has also become more health conscious and aware of the impact of plastics on our health and the environment.  And the number of people jumping on the anti-plastic bandwagon, especially when it comes in contact with our food, is growing, to judge by the discussions on several blogs I follow. 

My comment is this: many of my favorite shows (Good Eats, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Giada at Home, Ten Dollar Dinners, 30-minute meals) show a heavy use of plastic bags & tubs for marinating, storing, prepping food.  Many people like myself don't buy those bags or containers any more due to health and waste concerns.  I would like to see a more responsible approach taken to show us not only less wasteful ways to prep & store food, but also more healthy.  After all, it's all about the food, not keeping Glad and SC Johnson in business!  And yes, I realize convenience is a large part of this, but it's more a part of the problem, rather than the solution. 

Thank you for taking the time to hear my concern. I look forward to a response from you."

Tue, 31 Jul 2012 04:16:42 -0700
Dana on Trader Joe's Produce, letters and suggestions? Citizen Action I have contacted Trader Joes to say that I don't buy poultry there because it's always packaged in styrofoam, and also that I like their free trade coffee but would like an alternative to the plastic cover, as well as plastic laden produce.

I think it'd be better to actually find alternatives to plastic that we could suggest. I don't know what other greener grocery stores do, other than offer a less bulk items. Mushroom or soy or cardboard? I have bought cardboard containers at TJ's for their tomatoes.

BTW, my local TJ's just trashes their old produce and doesn't give it a food kitchen. Seems like a huge waste. Once again, I suggested this to the branch. The guy throwing out lots of bananas said that even the employees aren't allowed to take it home! Oh well, another issue beyond plastic.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:20:25 -0700
Beth Terry on Save Salgados from a plastic pollution nightmare! Citizen Action I did get it to work for me later on a different computer. No idea. Posted to Facebook too.

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 20:34:34 -0700
Giving it a go on Save Salgados from a plastic pollution nightmare! Citizen Action Oh, that´s not good! I just did it again, with another email address (never thought of that!)  it worked for me fine, took a few minutes but then it was there...  I don´t know how it works...  thanks for trying!  I´ve copied the link again in case it was that.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 11:00:25 -0700
Beth Terry on Save Salgados from a plastic pollution nightmare! Citizen Action Hi. Thanks for posting this. I am trying to sign the petition, but nothing happens after I put in my name and information and click "Sign". It just stays on the same page not doing anything.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:02:04 -0700
Giving it a go on Save Salgados from a plastic pollution nightmare! Citizen Action
In the last couple of days I have learnt about Salgados in the Algarve in Portugal. A huge migration stop of for 1000s of birds.  

I think it´s something your members would like to hear about so they can help to save it.  

Right now the Portuguese Government has just given the go-ahead for the majority of the area, 359 hectares, (887 acres), to be “developed”. By developed they mean “to be concreted over” and thus lost to the wildlife that finds it vital now and also lost for the enjoyment of future generations.

Of course there are these birds that are directly effected. But if these hotels & complex go ahead there could be many many more birds effected for years to come by the plastic pollution created by them.   In fact, I was on an island on a boat trip for my friends Birthday on the South Coast of the Algarve & it was literally littered with dead seagulls.  When I rang a local association on my return home, I was told this is normal, & yes probably caused by plastic ingestion.  But seagulls are classed as vermin here so they are not important or registered....

Thankfully, someone has started a petition!  & a Portuguese Lawyer I know, who brought it to my attention, plans to take it to court.  So if the Portuguese government see foreign names on there - potential tourists - this could really help the case. 

I hope you can add this to your site so your members see & can play a ritual in saving Salgados!

With thanks & hope, 


Thu, 05 Jul 2012 01:28:32 -0700
Giving it a go on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action I have a warm feeling after being there today. Glass bottles of free tap water on the tables & no straws being given out unless people ask. He´s also ordered paper bags for takeaways. They alone cost him 2,500€  60cents each... 

We are going to put a logo I´ve designed up & he even said about getting it done huge & putting it on the road at the top & bottom down to the beach....


Woooooooo!!  Cool

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:52:59 -0700
Beth Terry on Trader Joe's Produce, letters and suggestions? Citizen Action Thanks.  You can email them to beth [at] myplasticfreelife [dot] com.

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 17:49:22 -0700
Jeremybot on Trader Joe's Produce, letters and suggestions? Citizen Action Hi Beth -

I am now back from my trip and made it over to my local TJ's (the same as Stacey's) yesterday. I took a bunch of pictures, how should I get them over to you?

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 16:32:27 -0700
Giving it a go on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action Thank you. I´m in Portugal, so I don´t think there´s a top recycling system.  Cleaning an hour before is a great idea. Ironically he´s in a bay & it doesn´t collect nearly the amount of plastic our other beaches do. Still, a lot though! I do have photos I can take & I´ll get info off of PPC site.


That sights an eye opening Beth! Gees loads of things I wouldn´t of thought of.


Meeting him tomorrow, I´ll let you know how it goes! 

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:07:01 -0700
julsie on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action What a cool opportunity!  One thing you could do is take an hour to pick up trash on the beach, and show him how much trash you found from restaurants like his (plastic bags, straws, forks, whatever).  Just to help him visualize the problem.  Good luck!

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 07:33:27 -0700
Silverpaw Dragonsong on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action Just a quick note on plastic caps.  You may already be aware, but if you save the plastic caps from anything, you can then take them to any Aveda Lifestyles salon for recycling.

Fri, 06 Apr 2012 06:40:46 -0700
Beth Terry on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action Hi Michelle.  These are some great ideas to start off with.  Like you said, you don't want to overwhelm him. To get more ideas, you might check the website of the Green Restaurant Association.  If you click on each of the 7 categories, you will see action items under each one.

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 20:12:31 -0700
Beth Terry on I'm writing letters to my favorite companies. Citizen Action Thanks for taking some pictures. A lot of people have offered to do it, so I think we'll be okay.  It's just so ironic to package organic food in plastic.

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 17:00:10 -0700
Giving it a go on If you had just one chance.... Citizen Action A local prime location busy beach restaurant wants to meet up with me to talk environment...

I have one chance! I´m asking:  What would you take along to show, discuss with him?

I know he wants to do beach cleans. As well, I want to suggest:

  • Not handing out straws unless asked.
  • Not putting takeaways in plastic bags (he has sourced boxes that are not plastic!) 
  • Having an outdoor refill water tap. With sign.
  • Possible taking the 33cl bottled water off.
  • (having worked in restaurants I know this is the tip of the iceberg! But start slowly I´m thinking)

I am in Portugal, there is a small village buzz about plastic pollution, though not much! This is a prime location restaurant, ran by a local who could influence others. He has started a vegetable patch, & is even considering digging up his whole garden to grow more!  He is keen!  

I don´t want to send him running for the hills, but I do want to let him know how much he could do by refusing to give out such plastic in the first place, rather than just picking it off the beach. 

Thank you in advance!


Their facebook page

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:00:19 -0700