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Government announces plan to phase out fruit stickers and other plastics

28 June 2021

Environment Minister, Hon David Parker, has announced the Government’s plan to phase out 'problem plastics' and single-use plastics.  

This decision will affect some of the packaging used by New Zealand’s horticulture sector, particularly fruit labels, which are due to be phased out by mid-2023.  

Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Nadine Tunley, says fruit labels are important as they show the origin of the produce, who grew it and what variety it is.  They are an important point of sale (POS) tool.

“Most varieties are trademarked so the labels help protect grower interests and ensure a return on the substantial investment required to develop new fruit varieties,” says Nadine.

“Fruit labels also play a traceability and food safety role. 

“Fruit labels need to adhere to the fruit without damaging it, and be able to withstand refrigeration and moisture. 

“The horticulture industry needs time to develop new, non-plastic fruit labels.  There will also be significant costs involved. 

“This announcement came as a surprise as the Government gave assurances it would consult with the horticulture industry before any final decisions were made. 

“The horticulture industry will continue with its programmes to improve sustainability and its investment in the research and development that’s necessary.”

 

Read the Government’s full plastics phase-out plan here.

Media release