New Zealand

NZ grower the first to use compostable stickers on its apples

10:38 am on 10 June 2019

A Hawke's Bay apple grower says it is the first in the Southern Hemisphere to use compostable stickers on its apples.

Heidi Stiefel with the new compostable apple stickers. Photo: Supplied

The organic apple grower, Bostock New Zealand, planned to roll out more compostable stickers next year after a successful trial.

The new sticker meets regulations for direct food contact and breaks down when put in an industrial compost, according to the company's organic supply manager Heidi Stiefel.

Ms Stiefel said they supplied apples labelled with those stickers to a European customer and some New Zealand supermarkets this year.

"The sticker trial has been very successful, and we have had no technical issues.

"We will definitely work with the supplier to roll out more compostable stickers across our apples in 2020."

A home compostable sticker is also being developed, which might come into use next year, Ms Stiefel said.

She said the company preferred not to use PLU stickers but customers and retailers required them for identification.

"We are continually looking for more sustainable packaging options and are very excited to be the first apple grower in the Southern Hemisphere to trial [them]."

Ms Stiefel said the compostable stickers were more expensive than the plastic ones but hoped the industry would adopt using them, which would eventually reduce the price.

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