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Lidl under fire for selling peeled onions in plastic

The product has been described as a ‘monstrosity’ and ‘unnecessary’

Sabrina Barr
Monday 15 January 2018 16:41 GMT
@WinnieCJ (SWNS)

Lidl has been heavily criticised by customers for selling peeled onions wrapped in plastic.

The supermarket chain is selling the packet of two peeled onions for a reduced price of 79p, having originally cost 99p.

Alternatively, you can buy a bag of unpeeled onions from Lidl for a mere 55p.

People who spotted the peeled onions on sale have taken to social media to express their disapproval, using the hashtag #pointlessplastic to point out the environmental impact of the product.

Winnie Courtene-Jones, a PhD student, described the product as a “monstrosity”, with many others commenting on the unnecessary use of plastic.

A Twitter account called @OpenLitterMap explained why it’s particularly wasteful to package onions in plastic, as they naturally grow their own outer layer.

“Do you not realise that onions have SEVERAL LAYERS of skin? This is an ecosystem service,” they wrote.

“Something nature provides humans for free and at no effort.”

While the excessive use of plastic has angered a number of customers, there are those who rely on pre-packaged food to cook due to disabilities.

Last week, Lorna Stewart wrote a blog post for The Huffington Post explaining the importance of pre-prepared vegetables for people who physically cannot chop up food in the kitchen.

However, she also stressed that retailers need to consider the effect their packaging is having on the environment.

“We are not lazy. We are unable,” she wrote.

“We need that food pre-prepared. You do not need to package it in an abundance of plastic.”

Lidl responded to the criticisms on Twitter.

“Whilst we’re proud to have one of the largest offerings of loose fruit and veg of all British supermarkets, packaging plays an important role in ensuring the quality and safety of our products and is crucial to minimising food waste,” they wrote.

“We’re continuing to reduce the amount of packaging we use and increase use of recyclable materials throughout our range.”

However, Courtene-Jones responded by pointing out that the sale of the “naked onions” undermines their environmental policies.

Another Twitter user supported her argument, writing: “Not even chopped so useful for those who need prepped veg - no reason for it at all that I can see!! #stoptheplastictide.”

Lidl has provided The Independent with the following statement:

"At Lidl UK we are proud to have one of the highest proportions of loose fruit and vegetables of all British supermarkets, and continually test and trial the removal of packaging throughout the range.

"We remain mindful that packaging can be beneficial in optimising shelf life and helping to reduce food waste, both in store and at home, so we are also working closely with both our suppliers and industry partners WRAP, to increase the proportion of recyclable material used.

"This product, which is equivalent to pre-prepared options already available at other supermarkets, is being piloted in a select number of stores on a trial basis only."

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