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UK: Boycott Marks & Spencer's Answered

heads up -- Marks & Spencer's in the UK actually DYES their (perfectly good if past-due) food BLUE before tossing it out, intendending to deter or prevent urban recyclers and others who think waste is immoral, from scavenging their dumpsters. Reportedly they also slash the soles of shoes that get tossed so that they can't be reused. It makes NO difference to M&S;, yet company policy is to ruin the goods. Imagine stomping on a bunch of bananas you couldn't sell at the end of the day, rather than giving them to a hungry person. If waste bothers you, consider thinking twice before having dealings with Mark's and Spencer's.

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BtheBike (author)2011-05-23
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steveastrouk (author)BtheBike2011-05-23

Nope, public liability, health and safety cutlure, legislation.

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BtheBike (author)steveastrouk2011-05-23

A boss of mine in rural Alaska would do the same with specialized forklifts . When we upgraded ,he would ship the old ones out of the state so competing companies could not get their hands on our monopoly . The old adage ,'if i can't have it ,nobody can' .

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webstore (author)2010-11-24

Unfortunately it is illegal to sell or give away food in the UK that is out of date. Having said that if you are poor and needy there can be little harm done eating tinned foods like soups that are only just out of date. That's why we designed our COMPLETELY FREE to use website http://www.outofdatefood.org for those seeking free food and for those giving away food for free.

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Kiteman (author)2008-12-04

Got a source? Or have you seen them do it? (This is news to me)

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stasterisk (author)Kiteman2008-12-04

yes, and I've seen the stained blue hands & clothes in the aftermath.

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Apparently it's reasonably easy to get around the staining issue with nitrile gloves, all the packaged stuff is fine...

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Kiteman (author)stasterisk2008-12-04
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whatsisface (author)stasterisk2008-12-04

In that case the company is even more hypocritical than it would otherwise be. In 07 it said it was "trialling" using out of date food as a source of energy (biogas). Whether anything came of these trials, I don't know, but if this wastefulness is standard practice then I'd assume not.

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/marks_spencer_g.php

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Kiteman (author)2008-12-12

I contacted M&S for a comment on this. This is the reply I got today:

With food approaching the display-until date, the first step is to sell it at a discounted price to customers; it is then sold at a discounted price to staff. If there is any remaining food, local charities in the area will be called and the food offered to them, it may also be sent to the staff shop. If however, there is remaining food at the end of the day that has been unclaimed and is past the display-until date, it is stained with ink to prevent anyone from eating this from the bins. This is for safety reasons and for the benefit of the person who may eat it as eating out of date food can pose as a serious health issue.

Regarding clothing and shoe items, the only reason why these would be destroyed would be if there was a quality issue, for example if the heel of a shoe had been proven to be faulty. Otherwise, clothing and shoes are sent to outlet stores to be sold at a discounted price. They are kept there until they are sold or returned to the manufacturer.

That, as they say, is straight from the hourse's mouth.

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killerjackalope (author)Kiteman2008-12-12

That's a bit of a mis-truth, they used to do that for hospices and such, now it's all thrown out, my friend used to work there... Apparently it's a legal issue because it's past due when the people eat it, then again I don't subscribe to sell by dates too much...

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chiok (author)2008-12-05

I can't understand why they would do it with the clothing. They have a partnership with Oxfam (I think) where the donation of M&S; clothing to Oxfam will result in a £5 gift voucher to spend in M&S.; Throwing away clothes just seems silly. I thought it'd all filter down to the outlet stores and then purchased by me when it gets really cheap.

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gmjhowe (author)2008-12-05

Well, unfortunatly, there are two reasons why companies do this. The first, is that even though the company has got rid of the food, and the shoes, they are still liable to be sued, if say somebody got ill from the food. Essentially the company are covering themselves. Because this has happened in the past! (this is the acceptable reason) The second reason, is that they want people to buy new stock, so they destroy the old (this is the non acceptable reason)

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