Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Angry Letter of the Month...Adsa and Cucumbers...

Last week me and my mum came home from the supermarket (Asda, which we don't usually use) with a very suspicious item...half a cucumber wrapped not only in plastic shrink wrap, but in a printed plastic bag AS WELL!!!!  My mum usually does the shopping and buys a half cucumber which is usually shrink wrapped, which is bad enough, if I do the shopping I try to find a whole, unwrapped one, but to have TWO layers of plastic wrapping is madness.  Madness I say!  Especially as you can't really tell just by looking at it that there are two layers there, you see the outer bag, but it's quite hard to see the shrink wrapping until the beg is open.  Argh!     

Which means I have to write to them to complain!

" Dear Asda,

My mother recently bought half a cucumber from your store. Where my food comes from is important to me, so I was pleased to read on the packaging that the cucumber was grown in England. However, I was disappointed with the packaging of the cucumber. I usually try to buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables to prevent having to put unrecyclable plastic into landfill. So I was horrified to see that the cucumber we bought was wrapped in a printed plastic bag AND shrink wrapped in plastic inside. Your website ( makes a lot of claims about reducing waste, heading towards zero waste and helping your customers reduce their waste. I would be interested to know how double wrapping cucumber halves in plastic fits in with this policy? I would also like to know if you are planning on changing the packaging of these cucumbers in the future?

I look forward to hearing from you soon. "

I'll post their reply when it arrives.
Have you bought an environmentally terrible product recently?  Did you let the company know you weren't impressed?


  1. We complained to several supermarkets a while ago about pulses being sold in tetra paks, instead of cans... As we no longer have recycling facilities in the UK for tetra paks, it just seems criminal to use them! Only Sainsburys replied, but passed the book saying it was the council's fault for not having the facilities to recycle the paks... So I wrote to the council, who said it was another company's fault & so on! Apparently, it's all about money...

    No doubt, you will be told some long winded story about how it's safer to have the 2 wrappings, we buy our veg through a box scheme. only salad leaves come in a plastic, though biodegradable bag, so it's much better!

    Kay :)

  2. Oh Kay, I agree with you about those pesky tetra packs! How very silly! I'm fully expecting to be fobbed off with some rubbish or other from Asda, but I always hope that if enough people say they don't like something then maybe they'll change it. One day, when I grow up and move out I shall have a veg box, I'm looking forward to it, my mum doesn't want to get one, so for now I'm stuck with strangely packaged supermarket veg!

  3. Has anyone thought that by wrapping vegetables we are stopping throwing away thousands of tons of food (while btw people are dying of hunger in the third world).
    Plastic packaging make vegetables last for longer and keep their properties and flavour for longer (fact).
    About sending plastic packaging to waste... some companies are already recycling plastic films. It is possible, we just need the government put some pressure on the councils so they actually put a good recovery system in place.

  4. Hi John,

    I am, of course, aware that there are people dying of hunger in the third world, and in fact that there are hungry people everywhere...however, I think making food last longer by double wrapping it in plastic film (which, to most people, is still un-recyclable) is not the way to solving world hunger or to securing a sustainable food production culture. I think there is something seriously skewed in a society that expects to have year round fresh fruit and veg flown in from all over the world...this only necessitates (double!) wrapping in plastic to make the produce last on it’s long journey...I do agree that pressure should be put on councils and food producers and shops to implement plastic film recycling schemes that are accessible to the public, but I also believe that people should be encouraged to eat local, seasonal, fresh produce that needs no plastic film wrap, and to buy only as much food as they will actually eat, so they don’t have fresh produce languishing in the fridge needing plastic film to keep it longer... plastic wrapping lasts longer than the vegetables it’s ‘protecting’ (fact) so double wrapping in plastic film seems criminal to me.


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