Marks and Spencer has been slammed by shoppers and scientists for selling apples in a plastic tube – so they can fit in car cup holders.
The retailer is selling three ‘Baby Rockit’ apples in cylinder-shaped packets, which they say makes them easier to store.
It has been criticised for overuse of plastic by customers including marine biologists. Professor Brendan Godley, conservation science lecturer at Exeter University, tweeted a picture of the tubing and wrote: “Please retweet if you think it’s passe for Marks and Spencer to be selling apples in plastic tubes because they ‘fit car cup holders (M&S rep)’.”
His tweet included the hashtags #timetochange and #irresponsiblepackaging.
Professor Godley later tweeted: “Apples don’t need to come in a plastic tube. We should be recycling essential plastics and ablating non-essential uses from the market place and companies like Marks and Spencer are in a great position to lead.”
Fellow Environmental lecturer at University of York, Bryce Beukers-Stewart, tweeted: “If only apples came with some kind of protective edible skin…
“Poor show Marks and Spencer – I thought you cared about #PlasticPollution.”
A representative for Marks and Spencer responded to the tweets by Bryce, saying the main purpose of the tubes is for “protection and convenience”.
They tweeted: “We do care Bryce :/ The main reasons for the tube are protection and convenience. Being a small pack, it can easily fit in a car cup holder, or a bag.
“The polymer used is PET which is widely recycled, though we’re working on improving the material used to keep in line with our Plan A initiative.”
Marks and Spencer’s ‘Plan A 2025’ aims to transform lives and communities and for the company to become a zero-waste business.
An M&S spokesperson said: “We’re reviewing the packaging on this product.
“We’re always looking to reduce the amount of packaging we use without affecting product quality, freshness and recyclability.”