In a viral TikTok, a woman made a startling discovery while she was dumpster diving behind Pret A Manger and Lululemon: a bunch of still-packaged food and unused bags.
The video was uploaded by TikTok user Anna Sacks (@thetrashwalker), an environmental activist based in New York who mainly posts content about her discoveries while dumpster diving to her 408,000 followers.
This time, she reveals what she found in Pret A Manger and Lululemon’s dumpsters. The video kicked off with what she discovered on Pret A Manger’s dumpster. Sacks asks one of her acquaintances, “does anyone want any of these?” while opening a large plastic bag filled with unopened sandwiches and salads. To which one of the acquaintances responds with, “lunch for tomorrow.”
The clip then cuts to what she claims she obtained in Lululemon’s dumpster: boxes of unused reusable bags in plastic bags.
“Unused reusable bags. Entire box of them. Unclear why they were tossed,” she says.
@thetrashwalker Pret & Lulu #nyc #donate #donatedontdump #dumpsterdiving #haul #vintage #shopping #recycle #climatechange #reuse #thrift #decor #free #zerowaste #eco #sustainable #ecofriendly #food #foodie #lululemon #lulu ♬ Raindrop Prélude – Chopin
The Daily Dot reached out to Sacks via TikTok comment and Pret A Manger and Lululemon via press email regarding the video. The video amassed 1.6 million views as of Sunday, where viewers condemned both companies for being “wasteful.”
“So wasteful. Why do they not donate everything,” one viewer condemned.
“I wish they don’t charge as much and be so wasteful! They could use the money to help other people!” another echoed.
“This is so sad that we’re so wasteful! Look at how much was thrown away!!!!” a third agreed.
Some even suggested what Sacks should do with the extra food and bags.
“Use the bags to fill with food and hand out to homeless pls,” one suggested.
“Why would they do this. Why not donate it. There’s so many services in the city that would come and pick it up for FREE!” a second wrote.
“Should give them to charity shops,” a third said.
Another TikToker wrote, “Why didn’t they give a bag free with purchase before throwing them out. It’s sad when places don’t donate food.”
Others proposed reasons why these places discard these items instead of donating them.
“Sometimes food gets thrown away if the fridge accidentally gets left open for food safety reasons,” one person suggested.
“Those Lululemon bags are very old. I guess is 3-5+ yr. Most likely the store found it hiding. That branding isnt current so we couldn’t hand them out,” a user commented.
“The food is sad but it’s tricky donating it. If someone gets sick, they can be sued. Not saying I agree just saying some companies don’t risk it,” a third user wrote.
The creator replied, “food donors are protected from liability under the federal Good Samaritan food donation act & there are no recorded cases of suing over donated food.”
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*First Published: Jan 15, 2023, 2:25 pm CST
Melody Heald is a culture writer. Her work can be found in Glitter Magazine, BUST Magazine, and more.