On Friday, a woman posted a Facebook complaint to the page of a frequently-viral Australian supermarket chain, Woolworths. Her beef was sweet potatoes. Heavily packaged, very normal looking sweet potatoes.
"Why???" wrote Leanne Stokan. "Woolworths, we, your customers, don't want this. Our planet doesn't need it. Sweet potatoes can go from your shelf to my trolley to my kitchen without ever needing to touch a plastic bag, let alone a plastic tray as well!!!"
Oh boy did that stoke some support from the good people of the internet, eager to show their support for unpackaged potato goodness.
In case you didn't know, "millions of tons" of plastic ends up the ocean. Just check out this article from Nat Geo. Regardless of how much blame you assign to wrapped-up potatoes... it's a bad situation.
Woolworths attempted to respond to the post, and they probably aren't too happy about Facebook's new "emotion" reactions. You'll find a lot of angry faces on this one.
"Hey Leanne, the packaging we use is designed to preserve the product throughout the supply chain and we make efforts to use our packaging as efficiently as possible," wrote Woolworths. They continued:
As such, many of our packaged produce lines are also available in loose format. When considering new recyclable packaging options, we need to ensure that it meets our existing food safety standards, product integrity requirements, and that it sustains the appropriate shelf life of our products to reduce food waste. We’ll continue to work with our suppliers to actively pursue packaging alternatives that reduce the amount of packaging or increasing its recyclability where possible.
Many people were furious with the response:
It feels fair to point out that Woolworths has also had great success responding to Facebook comments in the past—the internet will forever owe them for the story of the avocado liar.
But it looks like they'll want to rethink the recipe for this one. These are the saltiest sweet potatoes in the world.