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Compostable apple sticker deadline could result in more fruit in plastic bags

In under two years, the New Zealand government wants to phase out plastic fruit stickers, replacing them with home compostable labels. Earlier this year, the government earmarked mid-2023 for when it wants plastic fruit stickers phased out and home compostable replacements introduced. But industry sources see this as a long shot.

“It’s not looking particularly plausible at this point in time, certainly not for all products,” said general manager Jamie Lunam from Jenkins Freshpac Systems. Home compostable standards required labels to break down in 365 days, so, realistically, Jenkins Freshpac Systems would need to have a working product by July 2022 to allow for the completion of the certification process.

Lunam thought the deadline could have “unintended consequences” – apples being packaged in bags instead of loose, potentially creating a significant waste issue, as opposed to solving one.


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