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Or are Tesco users really as thick as Tesco seem to think they are?

(27 Posts)
janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 16:37:53

I was appalled this morning. All of my fruit and veg products in my monthly Tesco shop, whether plastic or shrink-wrapped or not, arrived in brown paper carrier bags. As usual, far too few items in each bag. I looked at them in horror and wondered about tree-felling v. plastic bags. The paper ones come from 'a responsibly managed source' (ie not made from recycled paper) and the plastic ones are at least degradable after a few months, and surely far cheaper and actually, in this case, probably preferable.

I asked the delivery man what on earth had happened. he said that after a large survey in which customers didn't think that their veg were fresh enough (despite being no worse than Sainsbury in any way), it was decided to put it all in brown paper carriers, whether already in plastic or not. I said I certainly hadn't been consulted, who on earth had they picked to do this survey? He said, probably the thickest-looking people in the least-well educated area of the UK!

Apparently after having trialled the bags somewhere, the overwhelming feedback was that the veg were now fresher.... I despair, I really do.

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 16:39:40

PS by having used perhaps a somewhat inflammatory title, and remember that I do shop there too, I am assuming that gransnetters do have more than two braincells to rub together!

Stansgran Thu 05-Jun-14 17:03:56

My DD ,having worked at Tesco, suggested I shop there but buy Tesco finest range. I find that the Shop is too large and even a simple shop takes half an hour. Things are moved so memory is no help. I wanted a slow cooked lamb roast. Eventually I asked for help. There is no call for Tescos finest lamb was the reply. Half an hour wasted and a very angry DH in the car park although I had suggested we went to M&S in the first place

rosesarered Thu 05-Jun-14 17:08:57

I don't have a delivery man [just the DH] and he shops at Tesco or Waitrose and I shop in Sainsbury's. However, there is no logic behind the fruit and veg tipped into brown paper bags to keep them fresher.

Ana Thu 05-Jun-14 17:35:24

I would have thought that paper bags were more environmentally friendly than plastic ones, though. I thought the plastic ones didn't break down for years...

FlicketyB Thu 05-Jun-14 17:55:44

In Waitrose this morning I watched the lady in front of me, of Gransnetter age, carefully take her plastic shrink wrapped cucumber, wrap it in a free plastic carrier bag and then put it in her 'bag for life'.shock hmm confused

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 18:09:30

Ana Tesco now make their bags - and have done so for some time - from a type of plastic that degrades very quickly. Particularly when combined with heat, say, from rubbish tip collections that can have a composting effect. try putting a Sainbury's carrier bag and a Tesco's one in your airing cupboard. the Tesco one will break down into little flakes.

FlicketyB, I don't know what people think they are doing! I've calmed down now, I was incensed this morning. I have been thinking about it and trying to work out what the difference can reall be between the supermarkets, and it can only be the number of staff. They need more trained to spot signs of decay and whip them quickly off to a sales section. Or even better, price them lower in the first place, so that people will buy them!

HollyDaze Thu 05-Jun-14 18:11:03

She probably wanted a liner for a pedal bin FlicketyB smile

I would prefer the brown paper sacks again - I dislike plastic for most things and would go back to glass bottles again for milk and juice.

annodomini Thu 05-Jun-14 18:12:02

Plastic bags are only photodegradable - or so I have been told - which means that if they are buried in landfill they will not degrade - or take a very long time. Might be interesting to bury one in your compost heap and see what happens to it. At least you can compost paper containers.

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 18:14:27

Aha - I shall try it! Hollydaze the paper sacks on their own would be ok, particularly if made from recycled paper (but they weren't) but they were filled with fruit and veg already pre-packaged, or weighed and popped into clear plastic bags. Just weird.

shysal Thu 05-Jun-14 18:22:02

I buy loose fruit and veg where possible and put into draw-string voile bags which I made a few years ago for the purpose, out of second hand net curtains. [halo emoticon]

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 18:42:32

I usually buy at the local market and take a trolley, but a few veg are cheaper at Tesco, and while I am having a delivery, it has made sense to order from them. No longer, though!

granjura Thu 05-Jun-14 19:56:23

I wonder what would happen if we all took of the wrappings from fruit, veg, etc- at the cash desk, and ask the cashiers to take it back. Worth a campaign and a try perhaps. We should never underestimate the power we have collectively as consumers.

FlicketyB Thu 05-Jun-14 20:05:56

I have taken excessive packaging off goods and given them to the till clerk, who just accepts it and puts it in a bin at her feet.

granjura Thu 05-Jun-14 20:07:47

One of two of us doing this won't work- as you say, they can just use the bin at their feet. But if we all did it, or quite a few of us anyhow- it would slow down the tills, cause congestion and they just would not be able to deal with all the rubbish. As said- worth a try??? What do you think. GN unite smile

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 20:41:39

What a lovely idea. DBH always takes bags shopping with him, so he could do it too.

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 20:42:09

I'd quite like to keep strawberries in a box though please!

granjura Thu 05-Jun-14 20:55:41

At least here strawberries are sold in cardboard boxes, not plastic. So into recycling or compost.

granjura Thu 05-Jun-14 20:56:42

You could bring a Tuppwerware type box with you- delicately emptying them into it (that will waste a bit more time smile ) and then give them the plastic tray back ;)

janerowena Thu 05-Jun-14 20:59:10

How very logical! I only just remembered how they used to be sold - in those nice little boxes with a handle.

granjura Thu 05-Jun-14 21:14:51

Well, sometimes its better to be 20 years behind ;)

HollyDaze Fri 06-Jun-14 11:37:44


I do agree with your post and silliness of the packing. I tried to raise this with Tesco in Douglas asking how they can package everything is plastic but complain about carrier bag use - no response. When I shopped there again, I removed all the plastic packaging at the checkout and put everything into my own bags - they were not pleased that I had done that but it did make the point better than the letter I had written. It just seems like double standards: plastic is okay as long as you pay for it!

HollyDaze Fri 06-Jun-14 11:39:04

Sorry granjura I have only just seen your post suggesting leaving the packaging. In my experience, they didn't like it one bit.

janerowena Fri 06-Jun-14 12:50:50

I bet the vast majority have no idea why they have switched to paper carrier bags, not knowing that Tesco thinks that we will all believe our fruit and veg to be even fresher as a result. I wouldn't have known if the delivery man hadn't told me - because he was livid about it too.

FlicketyB Sat 07-Jun-14 16:46:38

I used to buy organic meat from a local home delivery company, but after a few years the owners retired and sold the company to Abel & Cole.

The local company vacuum packed the meat into bags and stuck a label on it and arranged to deliver when you were in and handed the meat over in plastic bags that they filled to the brim. My first delivery from Abel & Cole came in two big polystyrene boxes and the vacuum packed meat instead of having a sticky label on it, had a wide cardboard sleeve on it. When I rang to complain about the excessive packaging the company were very off hand with me and couldn't understand why I was complaining. I have never bought anything from them since.