Upset shoppers have taken to social media to slam Woolworths over a "disappointing" detail regarding the retailer’s latest collectable.
Woolworths’s newest collectable promotion began last week, with customers earning Australian Olympic and Paralympic athlete sticker packs with selected purchases.
However, many customers have quickly taken to social media to point out that the collectables are not Australian made.
The posts were made directly to Woolworth’s Facebook page, with a majority of customer posts featuring photographs of the packs, which read the words "Made in China".
“Yes we should support our Aussie Heroes, but not just in sport, let’s also support Australian businesses,” posted one customer.
“Very disappointed to see the Aussie Heroes stickers are made in China,” said another.
“Great to see Woolworths supporting the Aussies with their latest promotion, well not all of them,” posted a third.
Woolworths explains why they chose an overseas supplier
Woolworths addressed the third customer’s post in a comment.
“We always look to source locally first, unfortunately there is no manufacturing capability in Australia to produce the amount of stickers required,” the retailer said.
The customer replied to the post, indicating that the supermarket could have found a way to produce the collectables locally.
“All the more reason to give the job to more than one Australian manufacturer,” they said.
A Woolworths spokesperson has told Yahoo that the collectables were made overseas in response to demand.
“In order to meet demand and ensure all of our customers across Australia can participate in a program celebrating Aussie Heroes and the role fresh food plays in competing at your best, we've had to use an overseas supplier,” the spokesperson said.
This is not the first time the supermarket has been under fire for internationally produced goods.
In 2020, Woolworths customers were upset to learn that the retailer’s initial batch of paper bags were made in China and Vietnam.
Sustainability of collectable stickers slammed
Another customer has taken to Facebook to blast the grocer’s "complete opposite" approach to sustainability.
“The new stickers are anything but sustainable, they are the complete opposite,” they wrote.
“The new stickers have backing cards that are not recyclable.”
The post is accompanied by a photograph of the collectable packaging, which features a bin icon, indicating that the backing card of the stickers is not recyclable.
“Woolworths said they were aiming for a 100 per cent sustainable future,” the customer wrote.
“Not so Aussie Heroes.”
Woolworths has previously run fully recyclable collectable initiatives including Discovery Garden, which contained natural seeds and planting pots and Ooshies, which were repurposed into other items when recycled in store.
In late 2020, Woolworths announced a sustainability plan that Woolworths Group will be powered by 100 per cent green energy by 2025.
One of the key points of the sustainability plan includes an initiative to transition to 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging on Woolworths branded products by 2023.
In addition to saving 9000 tonnes of plastic from landfill with their 2017 sustainability initiative, the Woolworths’s sustainability plan states the supermarket giant has already reduced its carbon emissions by 24 per cent from the levels they were at in 2015.
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