War on waste debate tackles fruit and vegetable wrapping benefits over more food waste

With pressure growing on retailers to unwrap the plastics on fresh fruit and vegetables, there is a new debate about what is the greater evil — plastic or food waste?

One major supermarket, Woolworths, has responded to community pressure and removed packaging from its fruit and vegetables.

Paul Turner, Woolworths' head of fresh produce, said the company had removed the plastic wrapping from organic bananas.

He said there was still packaging on a kids' banana range, but it was recyclable packaging.

"There are always opportunities to use less plastic, but the question is, 'How do we reduce food waste as well?'" he said.

Woolworths also uses shrink-wrap around continental cucumbers.

"When you take the plastic off continental cucumbers their shelf life is significantly shortened, which can lead to more food waste," Mr Turner said.

Tas Country Hour (25 March 2019)

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