Waitrose paper plates row goes viral: Read the best comments here

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The Observer’s story about Waitrose Chichester customers’ anger over paper plates and cups has appeared in a string of national newspaper websites as well as on the radio this morning.

As reported, the Chichester store has received scores of complaints over the change from china crockery to paper in its in-store café http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/local/complaints-over-change-to-paper-cups-and-plates-at-chichester-waitrose-1-7194265

The story was published on our website on Tuesday afternoon, and by the following day it had featured on a number of national newspaper websites, including the Telegraph and the Mail Online under the headline: “Is this the most middle class row ever?” - which has now received more than 700 comments.

It has also now been covered by The Metro, The Standard and The Mirror, and was even discussed this morning on BBC Sussex radio.

Waitrose has now said it has received ‘approximately’ 15 letters of complaint since Costa moved out and was changed to a Waitrose café last July.

The Observer has learned that many more have made verbal complaints to staff at the café, also voicing irritation from a change from sofas to wooden tables and chairs.

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Amongst some of the more humorous 700 comments on the Mail Online story include this one:

“After a lengthy debate my business partner and I have come to the conclusion that although we deem the papercup lip worthy, the plates are of a simply unacceptable standard.

“I wouldn’t let either of my two corgis anywhere near those Loathsome, working class troughs.”

Another said: “I shop at waitrose because everybody on my estate does, including the gamekeeper.”

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Another said: “I will be taking my custom now to Harrods. I AM FURIOUS.”

Many however agreed with those complaining: “When you pay for a cup of coffee, you expect it to be served in a proper cup, the way it’s done in France and Italy. Why do we need to import this kind of thing from the States?

Someone else said: “It’s nothing to do with middle class, it’s just a matter of standards. The same as linen napkins in a restaurant and drinking out of a bottle.”

Others suggested there are more pressing issues going on around the world: “There are people starving all over the world and you’re having a hissy fit because the food isn’t served on china? REALLY?!?!”

For many it has raised the issue of what is more environmentally friendly: Paper plates and cups, some of which are recyclable, or reusable china that uses chemicals and hot water to wash up.

One person commented: “If a paper plate contaminated with food is discovered in a batch of recycling the whole batch will be sent to landfill. Which means that all the paper plates will have to be washed before being sent for recycling something I doubt any cafe does that uses disposable plates..”

What do you think of the row? Sign in to comment, or join the debate on the Chichester Observer Facebook page.

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