As of Saturday, July 1, fruit and vegetable stores across the country will no longer provide single-use plastic produce bags. This is part of the government’s plan to phase out hard-to-recycle plastic items.
The second step of the phase-out includes a ban on single-use plastic tableware and cutlery, plastic produce bags, and plastic straws.
However, it’s important to note that people with disabilities or health conditions will still be able to access plastic straws.
The next phase of the ban, set to be implemented by 2025, involves transitioning to compostable plastic produce stickers. For now, fruits already packed in plastic can still be sold, so plastic stickers will remain on the shelves for some time.
In preparation for the upcoming changes, Jenkins Freshpac Systems, the largest producer of fruit labels in the country, has developed a compostable sticker. After 10 years of development, they have created a plant-based sticker that sticks to different fruits and remains in place during storage, transportation, and sale.
The company is also working on developing a home compostable glue for the labels. They believe they have a product that utilizes all home compostable ingredients, including the adhesive. They are currently conducting trials and hope to achieve a breakthrough in home compostable adhesive within the next 12 months.
With these significant steps towards reducing single-use plastic, fruit and vegetable stores are leading the way in protecting the environment. Let’s all do our part by bringing our own reusable bags when shopping and supporting these plastic-free initiatives!