Plastic Produce Label Phase-Out

31st May 2023

Plastic Produce Label Phase-Out

As you will be aware United Fresh has been working to secure an extension to the upcoming plastic produce label phase-out to allow time for our members and the wider industry to make use of label stock on hand. Unfortunately, this extension has not been granted.

Ministry officials met with Minister Brooking last week to discuss the extension request and the challenges raised by growers, including loss of crop, excess label stock and recovery cost pressures.

The Minister acknowledged these challenges and the long recovery road ahead, however changes to the regulations to allow for an extension would not be possible.

The following is a summary of the facts;

  • From 1 July 2023, labels on domestic fruit and vegetables will need to be certified home compostable (except for their adhesive) as per the regulations
  • This does not apply to plastic labels affixed to fruit and vegetables before 1 July
  • This does not apply to fruit and vegetables for export
  • This also does not apply to imported fruit and vegetables
  • The transitional period from 2023 to 2025 is to ensure the regulations are workable and allow for the development of a fully home compostable solution

In the first instance there will be an educational approach taken with the Ministry for the Environment offering advice to industry where they can.