Fruit labels. Why are they not biodegradable

All fruit that I buy is washed in an attempt to at least to remove some of the chemicals used in todays food production system. At the same time it is necessary to remove the labels which are made of plastic. My question why are these labels not made of a biodegradable material that will breakdown in the compost bin and or worm farm.
There must be millions of tons each year dumped into the the environment as pollution.


I have raised the same point in another post in the past.

I have seen the plastic fruit labels appear in the sand and pool at Southbank in Brisbane, in parks, in local creek and a wide range of other places (such to seats at bus stops, walls and the list goes on)…

Unfortunately, those who eat the fruit seem to pull it off and drop it where they are.

They also appear in our compost when we forget to remove from skins.

It is something that could easily be changed to a full biodegradable paper label…which will survive the production and retail process but will breakdown at the same rate as paper.


Yes, you’d think it would be an obvious thing to do, maybe the cost isn’t justified in the of the producer.


Why get fresh produce from supermarket? My not go to farmers markets… no labels, no was and then there is this from USA… Hope it’s not as bad here as it is there

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You miss the point,
the real point is why does each individual piece need to be labeled in the first instance. I know what a apple and a banana a looks like,
I can like most people can instantly recognise its colour and shape.
Labelling is only a relatively recent invention, fruit didn’t have labels when I was a kid.
When I select fruit and veg I am not brand loyal I don’t care who grew or packed it just that it is sufficiently ripe and in good condition.
Stupid idea was they must be applied by someone and removed by the consumer.


Can the checkout chick be expected to recognise a modi, delicious, kanzi, royal gala, jonathan, pink lady, [you get the idea] apple? They are often priced differently. Have you picked up a bag of apples only to find somebody put a few similar looking ones in the wrong bin when you got home so you paid the wrong (higher) amount?

If you got a bad product, especially one that might have been contaminated, would you be happy if it was not traceable to the farm or supplier?

They are applied by a machine.


why are they there at all??? A real nuisance on most fruit because you eat the skin and have to remove the label before eating or cooking.


I presented some reasons in the previous post. Have a read.


In Europe, they are trialing laser labels as a better alternative to traditional plastic stickers.


I have looked at most stick on labels and they are simply a growers name so it is just bizarre advertising for no real purpose.
Like anyone traces their bad fruit and veg back we just bin it.

And I suppose the machine in the factory was self invented and manufactured without human input and it is self loaded with printed labels that were self invented without human input?
Of course there is human involvement in the labelling process which in my opinion is superfluous and largely unwanted

At the end of the day it is for the seller, not the buyer.
Do PLU Codes Document How Produce Is Grown? |[quote=“tndkemp, post:10, topic:13800”]
Like anyone traces their bad fruit and veg back

but when there is widespread contaminated food you bet your bottom they try to find the source, and knowing the grower is imperative. A single bad apple goes in the bin, but.

I think your original words “they must be applied by someone” reasonably could be interpreted that you thought they were applied by hand, but nice recovery :wink:


I’d like Choice to run a campaign on this one! Fruit labels are the bane of my life. If labels are thought to be necessary, they should break down in compost.


It’s to tell you the country of origin. You have missed the point!

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Or an edible label for fruit like apples, where you commonly eat the skin?


I was at the market today none of the labels I saw had any country of origin info or are we supposed to know the growers by name and therefore where they are located?
Still I stick (no pun intended) to my original view they are unnecessary waste of time and effort for the grower and of no benefit and frankly a damn nuisance to most consumers.

What next individually labelled peanuts, cashews, or grapes?

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Agreed. Staff should be trained to recognise products just like they are in any other job. Country of origin and variety can be shown at the point of sale (like when you buy fresh fish) so it’s really not necessary to stick a label on every piece of fruit. They started off as marketing for Batlow apples to try to differentiate them from other regions and give consumers the impression they are getting a premium product. Would love it if a Choice ran a campaign against them.


Market stallholders are selling their own produce locally or buying it from local growers. They are not sourcing it from the USA, China, Vietnam or whatever. If I am buying at the supermarket, I like to choose local over imported products.

Your idea of labelled grapes and nuts – most amusing!

The market I was at and purchased fruit and veg was Woolworths only the largest retailer in Australia and as I said no country of origin information was on the stick on labels of fruit and veg we purchased, That info was on the shelves and the packets of prepackaged items but the stick on labels only had the growers names.

I agree, I have compost started 2yrs ago and the labels I find in it are like new… its incredible.


It used to be that T-shirts had sewn-on labels at the back of the neck. These days they are commonly imprinted on the fabric. Perhaps the next iteration is going to be non-toxic printing right onto the fruit item. V2 will be a new and improved nutritious “ink” that can be claimed as healthy (ref:Ronald Reagan era US Republicans defining ketchup as a veg for school lunches). The opportunities are endless :smiley: :smiley: