Lincolnshire County Council yesterday called off its high-profile legal action against Sainsbury’s over excess packaging – just a day before the first hearing was due to take place.

As predicted by thegrocer.co.uk last month, the council reassessed the case following improvements Sainsbury’s made to the packaging of the Taste the Difference beef product that was the subject of the case.

The council said the improvements meant it was no longer in the public interest to go ahead with the case.

Peter Robinson, deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said he was pleased court action had been avoided.

But a spokesperson for Sainsbury's said the retailer was concerned the action had proceeded so far.

“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 retailer said.

“The packaging of the product in question has been reduced by 53% and is set to be reduced by at least another 10% within the next few months.”

Lincolnshire County Council launched in response to shopper complaints about excess packaging on the product. It said at the time it had a duty to enforce regulations requiring businesses to keep packaging to a minimum.

Read more
Doubt over Sainsbury’s packaging court case (17 September 2010)
The Grocer Green Issue 2010 (25 September 2010)