Without plastic, fruits and vegetables will be fantastic

From January 2022, certain fruits and vegetables will be deprived of plastic packaging, before a total ban in 2026.

If you are one of those who cringe as soon as they cross plants sold under several layers of plastic, the Ministry of Ecology has a good news for you. From January 1, 2022, this practice will be abolished for a certain number of fruits and vegetables.

On the side of vegetables, this measure concerns leeks, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, round tomatoes, cabbage, squash, and a variety of root vegetables including carrots and parsnips, potatoes, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes. Concerning the fruits, the list includes apples, pears, pineapples, bananas, oranges, clementines and tangerines, lemons and grapefruits, melons, mangoes, passion fruit and persimmons.

For the moment, some still escape restrictions on the packaging. This is particularly the case for the most fragile foods; An understandable measure since they risk being damaged and therefore wasted if they are transported and sold in bulk. This concerns red fruits, sprouted seeds, certain ripe orchard fruits, salads or mushrooms. But it is not only a reprieve to allow economic players to find an alternative. By 2026, all fruits and vegetables without exception will be permanently deprived of plastic packaging.

The interprofessional not at all excited

the communicated government explains that at present, 37% of fruits and vegetables would be sold in plastic packaging. This measure would therefore make it possible to remove “over a billion unnecessary plastic packaging every year“. On the other hand, some players in the sector are not satisfied with this decision.

Interfel, the interprofession of fresh fruits and vegetables, estimates in a press release quoted by AFP (available here in pdf format) that it is a legitimate measure, but poorly implemented. She affirms that the sector represents “less than 1.5% of plastic packaging“Used in food, and unfairly considers itself”targeted as a priority”. She also regrets that their proposal to use 100% recyclable plastic was not selected, while it is authorized in other sectors.

40% of the plastic produced in the world ends up in packaging. © University of California Santa Barbara, 2018

We imagine that this measure will be quite restrictive for the sector. This one will have to find solutions urgently. The transition will not be easy, even for some consumers. However, in its current state, the packaging still represents more than 40% of plastic produced globally; in the long term, we can therefore be satisfied with this decision which is going in the right direction at the ecological level. Let us hope that this dynamic will continue in the consultation, so that none of the actors of this transition is left behind.

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