Sainsbury’s has raised concerns over a new levy on carrier bags in Wales which does not affect Ocado.
The Welsh Government has ruled that the primary use of Ocado’s bags is to protect goods during automated packing in its Herefordshire warehouse but other supermarkets have been told the primary use of their bags is deemed to be delivering goods.
Email exchanges between Welsh Government officials, the British Retail Consortium and supermarkets obtained using the Freedom of Information Act show Sainbury’s has raised the issue with authorities.
Management at Sainsbury’s wrote: “There is considerable concern among senior colleagues that we have spent time, effort and operational cost over the last year or so trying to find a solution for online when Ocado seem to have bypassed this entirely.
“I would suggest in the eyes of business, customers and media in Wales, it is both confusing and inconsistent with the spirit of the regulations.”
Sainsbury’s said there is “some disbelief” among ex-Ocado employees that the online retailer uses the bags for protective purposes as its “operational system is 99% identical to a supermarket online operation”.
A Welsh Government official said it was down to local authorities to interpret and enforce the regulations.