Letter: Plastic wasn’t fantastic
Author: Nick Atkins, director of marketing and professional services, Positive Impact
Firstly may I congratulate Optician for supporting and promoting responsible contact lens recycling. This is an important issue that needs greater practitioner and patient awareness and hopefully your campaign will make a difference.
However, I am sure I was not alone in my incredulity at the crass use of a totally unnecessary plastic cover of the January 11 issue of Optician by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. I was pleased to find out, following my initial contact with the editor of Optician, that despite the absence of any information, the cover was in fact recyclable and biodegradable. However, with recycling services patchy across the country in what they can or will recycle, combined with a total reliance on people not to simply throwing the magazine in the bin, I think it would have been better not to use a plastic cover at all.
I am sure I am not alone in seeing the irony of going to the time and trouble of producing a plastic cover containing pictures of plastic bottle waste. I have to say I do not think the cover added anything to the campaign other than showing a lack of sensitivity for the environment; as opposed what I am sure the company’s marketing team hoped to achieve – demonstrating the company truly cares for the environment.
Optician does not escape without some criticism either for being complicit in this campaign. I was personally disappointed the last time this happened and pleased when a reader wrote a letter criticising both parties involved. Seems like her views fell on deaf ears.
Please can we have an assurance that in future Optician will refuse to work on these sorts of ill-conceived campaigns? Further, it would be good if Optician went further to demonstrate its eco credentials by using either a biodegradable or, even better as on my RSPB magazine, a compostable outer shipping cover in the near future. I’m sure most readers will be happy to bear the small premium that this might add to their subscription.