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Plastic packaging and REI

I am active member of the Missouri Stream Team.  We are active citizen-conservationists who work to conserve our state waterways.  Missouri Stream Teams are part of the Missouri Department of Conservation and we are organized into regional associations through Stream Teams United.

I spend a couple of weekends a year working at Trash Bashes picking up an awful lot of plastic from creeks, streams, rivers, and even the Big Muddy.  A typical trash bash will have 600+ volunteers and haul a dumpster full of plastic bottles away.

If we are going to be able to hike, camp, backpack, or paddle in trash free natural areas, then we need to limit our use of plastics in packaging.  I hope that outdoor gear outfitters like REI will actively work to reduce plastic packaging and eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging.

I recently ordered 6 pairs of socks from REI online.  When the package arrived each pair of socks were over wrapped in an individual plastic bag.  Why?  The bags were not needed - the socks had display packaging.  And socks in the store don't have plastic bags on them.  So, I conclude that a lot of individual plastic bags have to be removed from pairs of socks by the customer or the store associate preparing the display.

I hope that REI will work to end plastic packaging.

1 Reply


Thanks for reaching out and for your hard work to keep your local waterways clean!

We are always looking for ways to improve and appreciate your concern about the packaging in your order. REI has been working on more sustainable packaging options for years, as well as trying to reduce waste across all of our operations. We recently published our 2020 Impact Report and we encourage you to take a look at the Product Impact Standards, along with our Eliminating Waste section of the report. They will give you a lot of information about the work we are doing and the work we have ahead. 

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.