An outraged Woolworths customer has caused havoc on Facebook by posting a pic of a sweet potato packaged in plastic.
Leanne Stokan, a customer from Newcastle, New South Wales, has turned into an internet celebrity overnight after she posted an image of a single sweet potato packaged in plastic wrap on the Woolworths official Facebook page. The post angered users, attracting comments and reactions from more than 65,000 people.
Most of commenters were scandalised by the excessive and wasteful use of plastic in a time when giant islands of garbage are popping up all over the sea, and climate change has become such a huge political issue around the world.
One Facebook user said, “Do something about this because it is damaging to your brand value and the planet. Also please broaden your cosmetic standards to shape and size of fruit and veg. It’s scandalous how much waste you contribute to.”
Another wrote, “If you also supply sweet potatoes in loose format and they survive fine, then there is no reason to wrap them in plastic and then plastic again,”
Woolworths social media representative responded by assuring users that the retail giant was adamant in packaging their products as efficiently as possible and pointed out that many of their plastic packaged produce lines also come in loose format.
But the response was met with distrust, and didn’t stop commenters from taking the supermarket’s explanation as just a weak spin to save face.
User Pat Lowe started a petition at Change.org back in 2015 to force the corporation to “Stop wrapping small portions of herbs, vegetables and fruit in plastic and styrofoam”. At the time the supermarket giants responded by committing to using recyclable packaging across some of their organic produce lines.
Sadly, two years later their vegetables and fruit are still wrapped in plastic.
Conservationist organisation Ocean Crusaders reports that more than 100.000 marine creatures die every year due to plastic waste and costs 13 billions a year in financial damage.