Sainsbury's avoids court case by voluntarily reducing packaging

12th October 2010 - Fine Cut

Sainsbury's has avoided a court case that would set a precedent to force other supermarkets to reduce their packing, including product labels, after making significant voluntary reductions in the amount of packaging they use.

As reported by The Daily Mail, the supermarket was due to go before magistrates this week, after they were accused of using wasteful and unnecessary packaging on an upmarket beef joint.

However, the row over packaging has been avoided after the council decided the voluntary packaging reduction meant a prosecution was no longer in the public interest.

Peter Heafield, head of Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: "This authority first drew its concerns about this issue to Sainsbury's attention in early 2009 and the matters before the court related to the packaging being used on this product in April 2009 and February 2010."

He added: "With the changes which have now been made and the intention of Sainsbury's to make further reductions if possible, this authority has decided that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute."

If the case had gone ahead, it could have set a precedent that could be applied to any retailer using excessive packaging, including unreasonably large product labels.

"The reduction in packaging which is being achieved on this and other products will result in less environmental damage, while at the same time lowering the cost to the council taxpayer of processing household waste," added Councillor Peter Robinson, deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council.

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