Poundland has sparked controversy over the sale of its new ‘Gift of Nothing’ product, which is effectively an empty heart shaped package with the words “exactly what you asked for”.
The product has been released as part of Poundland’s Valentine’s Day line and is on sale for the retailer’s trademark price of £1. Environmental campaign groups such as Friends of the Earth are concerned however, saying the product was “designed to go straight into the bin but will last for 500 years”, labelling it a “symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world”.
Julian Kirby, lead campaigner on plastics at Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s almost a riddle in itself. Who would actually want this, and who would buy it? The rest of the world sees the need for only the most essential plastics, with a fast phase-out of all other wasteful plastics, so let’s hope folly like this goes unloved and doesn’t reappear.”
Poundland defended the product calling it “a bit of fun” and added that its customers “love it as do loads online”, however it is yet to confirm whether the product is recyclable. A statement released by Poundland, read: “They all know it’s a bit of fun and we understand that’s still allowed in moderation.”
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of anti-plastic campaign group A Plastic Planet, said: “How can Poundland possibly think this is OK? This product is designed to go straight into the bin but will last for 500 years. It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world. We are treating our beautiful planet like it is disposable when it is all we have.”
Poundland failed to provide a response when contacted by Retail Sector.