Sainsbury’s has been accused of ‘greenwashing’ after they left plastic wrapping with instructions for staff saying ‘please remove outer polybag before placing product on shelf’ on a ‘sustainable’ bedding set.
The set is made from recycled plastic bottles and is usually displayed and sold in just in a reusable fabric bag.
When the set was launched last month, the brand said: ‘The bed linen is presented in a fabric bag, made from the same material, and fastened with a coconut husk button and jute string, designed to eliminate single-use plastic packaging.’
The product comes in a range of colours and is currently on offer at £14.25 for a single set, £17.25 for a double and £20.25 for a kingsize set.
But on Friday, a display at the Sainsbury’s store on Clapham High Street, South London, showed a selection of the sets with the plastic wrapping left on.
The wrapping is used to transport the product and then staff are told to remove it before it is placed on the shelf so the customer sees just the fabric bag.
People on Twitter weren’t impressed by the store’s use of plastic.
Many accused the store of greenwashing – the idea that companies push products as sustainable or environmentally friendly just to attract eco-conscious consumers.
Gemma said: ‘How disappointing! Makes me question your pledge to reduce plastic. Maybe you’re just going to hide more from consumers who are trying their best to think more consciously.’
Sally added: ‘This is outrageous and dishonest – you can’t call a product sustainable if it’s wrapped in plastic.’
‘I get the need for storage and transport I really do, but not individual wrapping. Wrap one box=less plastic as they advertise the product. Wrapping it in plastic and removing it for the shelf is just poor tricks,’ Gem said.
Responding on Twitter, the Sainsbury’s team said that the packaging is made from recycled plastic and it is recyclable, before asking which store the product was spotted in so that the wrapping ‘can be removed and recycled’.
The following day, the sustainable bed sheets were on display in the same store without the plastic wrapping.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘We are committed to removing 50% of our plastic packaging by 2025 and we are currently looking for alternative packaging for this product.’