März 12 2017

Bifi Waste disposal – an open letter

In the last months I had the great pleasure to work with a customer which I can commute via bicycle. This means that I commute 12km every morning by bike. My normal route takes me to the industrial site „am runden Plom“ close to Ettlingen. There is a park&ride parking site which is often used by transporters and trucks. This place has never been then cleanest or most beautiful one…

But about three weeks ago something orange jumped into sight. It was so orange I could not not see it.

Obviously somebody dropped Bifi packaging or presentation/marketing stuff out in the wild. Seeing this pile of garbage everyday made me step into action. I do not remember why, but I contacted Bifi via Twitter and offered a deal:

My motivation was not to make them take guilt, but to take responsibility for this little waste disposal problem. I purposefully did not mention any amount of donation and tried to give a variety of wide spread choices with my offer. In reply two things happened.

First thing: they declined my offer. That ist totally acceptable… kind of sad for me but OK.

Second thing: Maybe to defend themselves they compared the existing waste disposal with a „a paper bag that is not disposed correctly“! But in the picture I sent them it is obvious that the disposed waste is a big number of sales displays… something like this:

If you take about 20-30 of those and throw them into a sewage drain you get something like this:

Loaded into my VW Bus it looks like 6 big bags weighing about 35 kg together.

So we are not talking about one bag of FastFood that went wrong, we are talking about a big number of sales displays. Something only people working with or at Bifi might have access to. So from my point of view bifi should take responsibility.

To make it even worse… they try to defend themselves by comparing with McDonalds. If we always compare our actions to those who are worse… we will eventually and continuously get worse ourselves. I hope that there are people out there who stick to high standards when talking about environmental health and take both responsibility and action. And yes … if I would find 35kg of McDonalds sales displays I would contact them and ask them to take responsibility.

As I had to stay true to myself, I spent 1,5 hours taking the pile of paper out of the sewage drain. And then I packed that very smelly and dirty pile into sacks… those into my car… and brought them to the local waste disposal site. I paid 10€ for the disposal and went to bed with the feeling, that on Monday I will not see any bifi waste lying around.

(left before | right after)

I want to share 2 thoughts…

1.) I really felt great after having done something little to improve my environment. Yes it was exhausting but it felt great. Let us all take some hours per year and clean our tracks… what a clean earth we might get.

2.) I do not want to blame Bifi. I want to speak out to all the deciders… take responsibility. Even if it is not your fault. I am no marketing expert. But I think and hope that sales displays disposed in the sewage drain do not increase sales numbers. Help yourself and compare to those with higher standards. Take responsibility and action.