100 signatures reached
To: Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman
No more plastic fruit or vegetable stickers for NZ produce
Dear Mike Chapman,
Please say no to plastic fruit and vegetable stickers. Please inform your New Zealand fruit and vegetable suppliers to use bio-available materials for fruit stickers / laser printing / heat printing or whatever environmentally friendly non-plastic marking alternative is best suited to their produce. In 2005 a possible alternative was raised.* Other alternatives are also now available and being used commercially.^
Exercise your ability as a leader. Set a standard for NZ fruit and vegetable suppliers, and also send a message to the world that NZ is truely clean and green. Just because country of origin labelling was supported in a NZ survey** in 2017 does not mean people support plastic labels. Please declare a date from which plastic will no longer be on our NZ fruit and vegetables.
Commercially compostable stickers are not the solution. Stickers must be domestically compostable, if any sticker at all is used. There are non-plastic and non-sticker solutions, and we are a country proud of finding solutions.
From people who care about Aotearoa
Why is this important?
Removing plastic labels is publicly supported. As at 24 November 2018 86% of Stuff readers think plastic stickers on fruit should go.^^
Just two NZ produced fruit alone in 2016 resulted in an estimated 3.98 billion plastic labels.***
Plastic stickers also cause issues at compost facilities.^^^ This is unnecessary personal hassle for consumers and unnecessary use of plastic and environmental pollution.
^ e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jan/16/ms-and-swedish-supermarkets-ditch-sticky-labels-for-natural-branding
*** In 2016 124m trays of Zespri kiwifruit were produced and 350,000 tonnes of apples. http://www.freshfacts.co.nz/files/freshfacts-2016.pdf