Safeway hates the environment

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I recently purchased a carton of Safeway brand organic milk from the Safeway near my house. After drinking the milk, I rinsed the carton, and then asked my wife whether it could be recycled with the bottles and cans, or if we had to take it with the cardboard. She didn’t know. So I checked the carton.

To my utter shock and dismay, I found no indication that the carton was recyclable at all! This is organic milk, friendly to cows, friendly to the environment, but the carton has to go in the trash? I hoped that I was just missing the mark on the carton that explained how to recycle it.

I went to Safeway online and filled out their contact form.

I purchased a carton of your Safeway brand organic milk, and the carton does not seem to be recycleable. Is this true? While I applaud Safeway’s efforts to provide a greater selection of certified organic foods, I would hope that you would also provide more environmentally friendly packaging.

I’m not allowed to print their response because it might contain Safeway proprietary information. I’m not sure if their little disclaimer would stand up in court, but I don’t really want to get an email from their lawyer. But I can summarize.

Thank you for your email. Sorry it took so long to respond. Thanks for telling us that you can’t recycle the organic milk carton. Your comments are important to us. We’re glad you’re buying our organic products, even though the “O” symbol we use reminds people of Oprah. We’re going to have more organic products in the future, and we hope Oprah isn’t just waiting for us to get further along before she sues us. We’ll file your comments away somewhere, and probably no one will ever read them, even though we told you that they would. Thanks for contributing to the bottom line - some executive just got a million dollar bonus for heading up the organic initiative.

Safeway may or may not have said all those things. I’m not sure. Maybe they should have let me reprint it verbatim to make sure I haven’t misquoted them.

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