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Coconut company responds to backlash over its 'ridiculous' packaging

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/01/2018 Alexandra Richards

© Independent Print Limited A coconut juice company has responded after facing a backlash over the packaging used to wrap the food.

Genuine Coconut came under fire this week after environmentally conscious shoppers were dismayed to find their coconuts packaged in what appeared to be plastic whilst shopping in Sainsbury’s.

The company sells coconut juice which comes straight from the coconut. The product comes with a pull top and is accompanied by a straw. The entire product is then wrapped in film.

Disgruntled customers took to Twitter to express their concern over whether or not the excess packaging was necessary.

Esme Lila Sarfas said: "Utterly ridiculous . A coconut has one of the strongest, unbreakable natural ‘packaging’ in the world. It doesn’t need to be covered in plastic!!!"

Another questioned why Sainsbury’s had chosen to endorse the product by selling it in its shops.

Mezzie wrote: “Can you tell me where in Wiltshire Genuine Coconut wrapping can be recycled? Just because it is made from recycled materials still shows lack of Eco consideration as materials require energy to produce and transport. Wake up Sainsbury#s the world is changing.”

a display case filled with different kinds of donuts © Provided by Independent Print Limited However, Genuine Coconut responded to the backlash claiming that there had been a misunderstanding and that the plastic packaging was recyclable.

A spokesman said: “We can assure customers we use a range of recyclable materials to keep our organic coconut water fresh. This includes the high-tech film on the product, which mimics its original green peel and is made of entirely recyclable materials.”

The company claimed that the film covering the coconuts was necessary as the coconuts no longer had the protection of a natural green peel which they would usually have when they fall straight from the tree.

Ben Feltwell, the Director of online website About Orgainics which outlines advice on the labelling and packaging of organic foods, said that there could be merit to this explanation.

He said: “From a recent trip to Guaruja, Brazil (where coconuts are abundant) the locals were adamant that they wouldn't drink coconut water in the UK as they believe that the green flesh is required to keep the water fresh. Without it, the water quickly becomes milk and if coconuts are stored as the brown cores (that we know and expect) without the green flesh, they apparently don't last as long.

“If there's any real science behind the use of a plastic wrap around the coconut cores, it may be to replicate the effect of the flesh in keeping the coconut water fresh, though this is just guesswork based on their local customs.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said that it will be continuing to sell the product, they said: “As Genuine Coconut has made clear, this product is organic and recyclable.”

Related: Celebrities Love Coconut Oil. Here's Why... (Provided by Wochit News)

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