People Online Are Shaming Their Employers For Wasting Perfectly Good Products

Our current way of doing things isn't sustainable.

That's true in every sense of the word: Our planet cannot sustain the number of resources we waste, and many companies are the opposite of eco-friendly.

The proof? Employees of restaurants are showing how much food their employers throw out at the end of their shifts, and it's bad.

Meet Anna, aka @thetrashwalker.

She's a TikTok user who posted a video talking about retail waste post-Christmas. One of the examples she used? A single Duane Reade threw out $3,000 worth of unsold, BRAND NEW wrapping paper after Christmas.

It gets worse.

She used a few other examples to illustrate her point: a thrown-out return from Barnes & Noble of a Harry Potter wand with the note still attached, sliced up Victoria's Secret bras, and cut-up Coach shoes.

So, she issued a call:

Use the hashtag #RetailMadeMe to show the world how your employer wastes or destroys products to stop it from being reused, taken, or donated.

Needless to say, the videos started rolling in all over social media.

She was sent an anonymous video showing what coffee shops do with their leftover pastries.

Yup, it goes straight into the trash. Most companies use a policy about "contamination" to justify throwing the food out, but other companies (like Cobs Bread in Canada) donate their leftover bread and baked goods with no issue.

Employees have tried to do the right thing, but they've been punished for it.

User @lutaniccreations on TikTok used to take the food they were ordered to throw away and give it out to homeless people nearby. A coworker accused her of "stealing" the food that would otherwise be thrown away and ratted her out to her manager.

Sometimes, it's not just unsold product that gets wasted.

User @simplynutrition worked for a sport nutrition brand that demanded its employees return their uniforms when the company changed their branding. Why return the perfectly good clothes? So they could be burned, of course. You can't keep those nice clothes, duh.

Heartbreakingly, Anna found a whole dumpster full of unopened pads and tampons.

Female hygiene products are badly needed by women's centers, and yet Anna found a dumpster outside of Duane Reade full to the brim with brand new pads, tampons, and creams. Why?

She noted that employees are forbidden from doing anything about it.

"As a reminder, employees are not allowed to take this home, they're not allowed to put it in the break room, nothing. It all has to be thrown away. And if you try to take it home or donate it it's considered 'theft.'"

She also found an entire Swiffer Sweeper in the garbage.

Anna dug into CVS' trash and found an unused Swiffer Sweeper, the cleaning pads, and all of the cleaning liquid just thrown away. She said the store could have used it rather than tossing it.

Some stores leave donation protocols up to the managers.

For instance, user @raige_peid worked for Panera. Their protocol is to throw out unused bread at the end of the night, but each manager can use their own discretion and set up donation drops for the bread instead!

One user had a frankly disgusting story about JC Penny.

User @kristajaycams worked for JC Penny during Hurricane Sandy. When liquidation time came, employees had the option to buy liquidated items for as little as 25 cents.

The employees wanted to buy and donate the items to hurricane survivors, and JC Penny promptly threatened to fire them all for it. The clothes were burned instead.

Seeing all of that go to waste takes a high toll on workers across industries.

"When you hear about the sadness, anger, heartbreak, frustration, and guilt associated with having to destroy items like that, I think it's a necessary story to tell," Anna, aka @thetrashwalker told Mic.

There's so much we destroy that could be repurposed or donated.

"I live in New Jersey and there's a lot of shelters here, places where people need stuff. We literally have stuff we could give them, and I just hated that I couldn't."

We live in one of the most turbulent times in human history.

We have so much, yet there are so many that have so little. Finding a way to donate what we waste is a much more humane solution, don't you think?

h/t Mic