On February 28, 2020, a Twitter user by the handle of @yegurii posted pictures of a handwritten letter — and the tweet completely blew up the internet with over 10K likes and 25K retweets.
The letter came from Maeil Dairies, a South Korean dairy company, after @yegurii sent in a collection of plastic straws from the company’s beverage products that come with them.
기본으로 빨대가 부착되어 제공되는 음료들에 대한 문제의식으로 모아둔 빨대를 편지와 함께 되돌려보내는 프로젝트에 참여했고 생각도 못했는데 매일유업으로부터 답장을 받았다. 변화를 기대할 수 있는 기업에 변화를 요청하고 답을 받고 변화를 기다릴 수 있어서 기쁘다. pic.twitter.com/PMtuwixqHl
— 예굴 (@yegurii) February 28, 2020
A while back, I wrote a letter and mailed it to Maeil Dairies with a collection of plastic straws that come provided with the brand’s beverage products, as part of a movement to raise awareness about the environmental damages caused by these straws. While I did not expect a response, the company sent me this letter. I am simply thrilled to find out that Maeil is a company where I, as a customer, can request appropriate improvements and expect amendments to be made.
— Twitter @yegurii
This handwritten letter, drafted and signed by the company’s executive level chief customer officer (CCO), reads:
Dear (@yegurii’s legal name, blurred),
Hello, this is Maeil Dairies. First, I would like to express my deepest appreciation for you taking the time to send us a letter for the company’s best interest.
We have come to realize that the plastic straws, which we have provided in hopes of making things convenient for you, have instead made you feel uncomfortable. We believe this must be why you have mailed a collection of them back to us.
We completely agree with you and understand your will to be more environmentally friendly for a better future. We would like to join you in this movement as well.
As of now, we are researching ways to make the packaging for all our products environmentally friendly, so they do not require plastic straws for consumption. We ask for your generous understanding, however, because the research and the application of the final packaging will inevitably take time. We want to make sure that the new packaging design will not affect the quality of our products.
In the meanwhile, we will continue to review a more effective way to provide straws for beverages that require them.
— Maeil Dairies
With that said, we would like to ask you to keep your eyes on us and check how we do in making progress to become more environmentally friendly.
Again, we thank you for your utmost interest in Maeil Dairies and hope you have a wonderful day.
February 26, 2020
Maeil Dairies Chief Customer Officer Kim Jin Ki
— Maeil Dairies
This heartfelt response from Maeil Dairies has “restored humanity” for many Twitter users who came across the letter.
저도 그 우유를 정기적으로 구매하는 소비자로 늘 빨대가 불편하다 생각만 했었는데, 이렇게 행동으로 옮겨 변화를 만들어주셔서 고맙습니다. 진정성있는 답변 준 매일유업도 응원합니다.
— 피오나 (@fiona_h_k) February 28, 2020
As someone who regularly buys this brand’s milk, I also thought the plastic straws are unnecessary. Thank you for stepping up and taking action about it though. I will continue to support Maeil, especially after seeing that sincere response!
오와 저는 대기업 측에서는 신경도 안쓸 것 같아서 그냥 안먹고 있었는데 이렇게 모아서 보내시는 분도 계셨군요! 생각 외로 너무나 좋은 답변이 돌아왔네요. 앞으로의 행보가 기대됩니다.
— 실진로 (@sillo_jin) February 28, 2020
I always thought big companies like Maeil would not care about the individual customer requests, so I ended up not buying this product in general… but I guess collecting the straws and sending them back made quite a statement. And that response is golden. I look forward to seeing Maeil progress even more.
저도 그 빨대 버리기도 뭐하고 해서 계속 모으고 있었는데
돌려보낼 생각은 못해봤네요.
— 겨울봄 (@leehk77camus) February 28, 2020
I have also been collecting these straws, but could never think of what to do with them. I guess sending them back would have been a great idea! You did an amazing thing!
Plus, in celebration of the brand’s A+ response to @yegurii’s suggestion, netizens are commenting that they will begin supporting the company by purchasing their products!