Eco-minded shoppers have criticised Tesco for selling loose fruit at nearly twice the price of the plastic-wrapped alternative. A branch in Litherland, Merseyside, charged 17p each for lemons wrapped in non-recyclable plastic mesh compared to 30p for loose ones. Similarly, bagged clementines were 17p each, versus 22p to the non-plastic alternative.
One consumer photographed the price differences and told MailOnline: 'I've been consciously trying to reduce my consumption of single-use plastics so it's quite upsetting that the most environmentally friendly option is not the cheapest.'
But environmental campaigners say the practice penalises shoppers who want to be green.
'Stores should be helping customers say no to pointless plastic, rather than encouraging them to buy more,' said Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Julian Kirby. “Supermarkets must do more to ditch unnecessary plastic packaging – and if they won't the government should make them.'
The issue of the higher cost of loose fruit and vegetables has been raised repeatedly by shoppers, including TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who is working with the BBC on a programme called War on Plastic.