By putting tiny stickers on ripe avocados, the supermarket hopes to encourage shoppers to buy fruit that’s ready to eat. It’s assumed their bold “Eat Now” message will result in less fruit going bad and being thrown away. A spokesperson said the stickers will also reduce the number of avocado squishes that ruin the fruit in store.
But there’s a tiny detail Woolworths failed to mention during its initial announcement — the stickers are made of plastic and they’re not recyclable.
New Zealand leaving Australia in the dust in its war on plastic
Australia’s plastic laws lag woefully behind its progressive cousins across the ditch. New Zealand will ban non-compostable stickers on domestically produced fruit from July 1 and imports will face the same rules by 2025.
Other supermarket favourites like plastic produce bags will also be given the flick, along with plastic plates, straws and cutlery. All other polystyrene food and drink packaging will be banned two years later.
Yahoo News Australia has previously asked Australia's supermarkets how many fruit stickers it used, but they did not respond directly.
Anti-plastic campaigner calls out Woolworths fruit stickers
Jeff Angel founder of anti-plastic, non-profit Total Environment Centre said many states in Australia are also planning an end to more single-use plastic products. He believes the days are numbered for those annoying little fruit stickers too.
“I think Woolies should show more foresight. Plastic fruit and veg stickers are often appearing on proposals to ban single-use plastic items,” he told Yahoo.
Mr Angel has praised some efforts by retailers to reduce their plastic use, but he has some words of advice for Woolworths.
“It seems like its food waste people aren't talking to its plastic waste people, and they should get together and do something more sustainable.”
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