Legal action over Sainsbury's packaging dropped

Image caption,
The council dropped the case after the supermarket reduced its packaging

A legal test case against supermarket giant Sainsbury's which was accused of using excessive packaging has been dropped by Lincolnshire County Council.

The council said it was "no longer in the public interest" to proceed with the case.

The action related to the supermarket's packaging of a range of beef joints.

The authority said it was aware packaging had been cut but Sainsbury's said it was surprised at the decision to go ahead with the prosecution.

In a statement the council said it had received "evidence of a considerable reduction in packaging and the replacement of all previous stock".

Packaging review

The case involved the supermarket's Taste the Difference slow-matured beef joint.

Head of Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Peter Heafield, said: "With the changes which have now been made and the intention of Sainsbury's to make further reductions if possible this authority has decided that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute."

He added the authority had first objected to the excessive packaging in early 2009 and again in February 2010.

But a Sainsbury's spokesman said: "Our packaging is under constant review and the council was made aware of our plans for this product back in June, so we never understood why the prosecution was allowed to go as far as it did."

The firm said the product's packaging had been reduced by 53%, and was set to be reduced by at least another 10% within the next few months.

Sainsbury's said it had reduced overall packaging by eight million kilos over the past year - and aimed to reduce packaging by a third by 2015.

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