THEY were invented in York, and are made just a mile from the city centre.

But one York retailer is selling Polo mints that have been shipped half-way round the world, in a move that has sparked condemnation from environmentalists.

Rather than selling home-produced Polos from the Nestlé Rowntree plant in Wigginton Road, Poundland, in Low Petergate, is instead stocking packets produced at the Nestlé factory in Indonesia - 7,300 miles from Yorkshire.

Andy D'Agorne, leader of the York Green Party, said the situation was "ridiculous" but increasingly common in today's food markets.

He said: "I dare say if you look at a lot of things sold in the £1 shops, they have been made in China or the other side of the globe, and shipped over here.

"But that's one of the things about carbon footprints that people are becoming more aware about."

There has been growing concern in recent years about food being flown unnecessarily long distances, leading to damaging carbon emissions. Fellow Green councillor Dave Taylor said Poundland and Nestlé should both share some of the blame in this case, but also said the Government should take a stand against wasteful firms clocking up air-miles on food.

He said: "We live in a world of global capitalism, and without some form of control the market just seeks the cheapest way of doing things, rather than taking issues like sustainability into account."

York Lib Dem councillor Christian Vassie said Poundland's behaviour typified needless international transportation of food.

He said: "It's completely ridiculous and mind-blowing that particular shop can sell packets of Polos cheaper having shipped them half-way round the world."

A Nestlé spokeswoman said: "It is beyond our control if they import stuff that was never designed for the UK. It's a grey market area.

"The Polos made in York are for the UK market. We would never bring Polos from Asia to sell in Poundland."

Nestlé is a member of the Food and Drink Federation, and has signed up to its five-step plan to tackle global warming, which includes a drive to reduce air-miles.

The spokeswoman said Nestlé staff would look into whether they had any power to control distribution of goods produced elsewhere in the world, but she added: "Provided they are acting legally, there is not much we can do."

A Poundland spokesperson said: "At Poundland we source products locally wherever possible.

"In some cases however, to enable us to provide consistent value to our customers, we also source products from across the world. Poundland has a very loyal customer base of savvy shoppers, who want to buy top name brands for less."