Woolworths responds as shoppers rage at burger's 'unnecessary' plastic

Woolworths shoppers were outraged after a customer highlighted the supermarket's excessive use of plastic in a popular family dinner buy.

On Monday, a disappointed shopper called out Woolies for the "unnecessary" amount of plastic used in its own brand BBQ Beef Burger Kit.

"Hey Woolworths, you go on and on about being green, yet I noticed you are now selling this 'convenient' burger pack in-store," wrote a shopper in a scathing Facebook post.

Woolworths BBQ Beef Burger Kit
Woolworths shoppers were outraged over the "unnecessary" amount of plastic used in its own brand BBQ Beef Burger Kit. Source: Facebook

The Woolies do-it-yourself burger kit contains ingredients for four servings, with burger patties, brioche buns, cheddar slices and tomato relish.

While the kit itself may be convenient for home cooks, the shopper pointed out that each ingredient was individually wrapped in its own plastic bag.

"For $16.50 you get one plastic bag with all the ingredients for a burger, neatly wrapped up in individual plastic bags," the customer added.

'Unnecessary plastic waste'

The shopper slammed the supermarket giant, which is "committed to growing greener every day", for contributing to the ongoing plastic waste problem in Australia.

"This is idiotic and is simply creating more unnecessary plastic waste to pollute our planet. How dumb!" she concluded.

Female Woolworths customer carries paper bag in store
Woolies customers said the amount of plastic in the meal kit is "ridiculous". Source: Getty

Fellow customers shared the woman's sentiments, with many agreeing that Woolies' use of plastic was "ridiculous" and offering waste-saving solutions.

"You go girl. Couldn't agree more. What a ridiculous idea!" wrote one shopper.

While others suggested the retailer opt for a "paper box" or "biodegradable" packaging instead.

The shoppers' complaint comes only weeks after another customer divided the internet by criticising Woolies for selling pre-cut and packaged vegetables.

The customer's rant on Reddit slammed Woolworths' excess use of plastic packaging for the veggies, but many shoppers argued that the package is useful for people who are unable to cut vegetables themselves.

Woolworths responds with sustainability pledge

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that the supermarket used plastic packaging in this instance to prevent cross-contamination between items in the kit.

"While we're working hard to reduce plastic packaging, sometimes it's necessary for food safety and quality," said the spokesperson.

"Our Ready to BBQ Beef Burgers include a plastic barrier to separate the different components of the kit, ensuring the meat, cheese and buns are not in direct contact to maintain food safety," the spokesperson added.

Woolworths sign outside supermarket
Woolworths has vowed to make 100 per cent of the packaging on its own brand products recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2023. Source: AAP

The spokesperson emphasised that Woolies is committed to "growing greener" and reducing plastic across its stores, and since 2018 the retailer has removed more than 6,000 tonnes of plastic from its own brand packaging.

On Tuesday, Woolworths announced its new partnership with PACT, which could result in up to 18,000 tonnes of recycled plastic used in Woolworths Supermarkets' own brand packaging each year.

Under the proposed partnership, PACT will use recycled plastic to make more sustainable packaging for products across Woolworths' range, including in milk bottles, meat trays and beverage bottles.

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