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Greenpeace Taiwan calls for action against overpackaging of fruits and vegetables

Environmentalists suggest selling vegetables, fruits without plastic packaging

(Pixabay image)

(Pixabay image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Greenpeace Taiwan on Tuesday (April 26) urged the government to draw up rules aimed at cutting back on plastic packaging with a focus on fruits and vegetables.

Activists of the organization flagged overpackaging in products available across the country’s retailers and supermarkets and pointed out that over 90% of fresh products are wrapped in single-use plastics. Up to 100 million vegetable and fruit items are sold at these locations a year, creating tons of garbage.

A survey jointly conducted with National Cheng Kung University last year revealed that approximately 1.8 billion items of products in ten selected categories are sold a year, resulting in 15,000 tons of plastic waste from packaging. They are fruits, vegetables, eggs, rice, bottled water, bottled drinks, bottled milk, shampoo, laundry detergent, and other types of detergent, according to Greenpeace Taiwan.

The waste can be significantly reduced, by 53% in its estimate, through minimized packaging, reusable and recyclable packaging, and customers bringing their own containers or bags. This is particularly the case with fruits, which the survey found to be overpackaged due to the use of protective wrappings and plastic boxes.

A science-based guide must be developed to help retailers set plastic reduction objectives, activists argued. Taiwan can look to other countries for methods of phasing out throwaway plastic and promoting shopping for vegetables and fruits without plastic packaging for starters, Greenpeace Taiwan suggested.