This post was published on the wonderful 1 Million Woman website on 12 January 2015 - thank you for the inspiring comments and feedback! We'll be keeping you posted on our #PlasticFreePost campaign over the coming weeks.
Dear Australia Post,
We have a terrific idea for you. We really think you'll like it. Imagine if you were to launch an eco version of your parcel post service. One where you incentivise people to reduce their carbon footprint instead of penalising the ones that do.
Currently when we want to send out a parcel that we have carefully and thoughtfully wrapped using recycled materials like this one, we have to pay (often an awful lot more) than we would if we were to stick the very same parcel into your single use plastic satchel and use your parcel post service.
It really doesn't add up. The parcel weighs the same, it's going to the same destination, it's generally the same shape, it will take your staff precisely the same amount of effort to deliver it to it's end destination and yet you charge much less for the single use plastic satchel that will be discarded when it reaches it's final home.
The thing is, you really don't even need to develop a special product for the eco version, the customer could do it all for you. Maybe you could provide a simple set of guidelines if you were concerned about the manner in which it would be wrapped, although, we think that isn't really the problem is it? Because you're still happy to send our parcels ... as long as we (and all the other plastic free folk) pay the extra charge.
We run a little eco business and we are always striving to find ways to reduce our footprint. Our ethos is integral to our brand and our sense of self worth so as a business we choose to absorb the extra cost of our brown paper packages and uphold our plastic free ethos. We hope that by communicating with you about this, we could shed some light on what seems (to us) to be a glaring oversight within your fee structure and sustainability cred.
How many of your customers are only choosing to use those single use plastic satchels because it's cheaper? How many would opt out if there was no price difference? How many of those single use plastic bags are ending up in landfill? Sure you do say they're recyclable but wouldn't it be best to just avoid using them at all?
On your website you list these as your environmental policies...
Australia Post is committed to:
Well Australia Post, it seems to us that you have an opportunity here to make a massive change and turn things around. Our solutions are simple.
How about you swap the charges around and charge the lesser price for the folk prepared to wrap their parcels using recycled materials? Or develop a biodegradable compostable bag. Or create some genuinely reusable bags and box systems that we can all use over and over again…we know you've got some creative Aussie folk there that will come up with a simple eco solution.
So thanks for listening,
The ladies at Ecolosophy (and all the other eco minded souls and plastic free types within Australia)
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It rained and the roof leaks, but the cat has found a patch of sunshine and the self-sown seedlings are taking over the garden...life abounds even in the dry!