Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry has sported a new initiative to pay supermarkets to wrap fruits and vegetables in plastic in order to cut down on spoiled produce. Not unexpectedly, this initiative has environmentalists fuming.
The Ministry announced last week that a new initiative to “revolutionize food waste in Israel” by packaging fruit and vegetables in small packages. The Ministry argued that plastic packaging will extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, reducing food waste at supermarkets by 10 to 15% and consumer food waste by 20 to 25%.
“Everyone who has a bit of a brain will understand that wrapping things in plastic won’t minimize food waste, because it will require people to buy more than they want,” said Karen Tamari, a community organizer at Green Course, an environmental organization. “Fruit and vegetables already have a protective layer. It’s from nature.”
“We think this initiative is coming from the right place, the desire to end food waste is very environmentally friendly and overall good,” said Maya Jacobs, the CEO of Zalul, a maritime and environmental organization that specializes in plastic waste issues. “But the way they’re doing it is problematic.”