Pyrénées-Orientales / Fruits and vegetables without plastic packaging, the galley of producers

    From January 2022, in other words tomorrow, it will be forbidden to offer for sale fruits and vegetables presented in plastic trays.

    . A small revolution that undermines an entire local industry. “This decree, gets angry Bruno Vila the president of the departmental federation of farmers (Fdsea),

    fell on us without any consultation. We point the finger at an entire profession, while the fruit and vegetable sector uses only 1.5% of plastic consumption in France. We all agree to make efforts to limit the use of these materials, but things are imposed on us without knowing what technically possible and economically viable alternative solutions we are going to be able to use. “

    Cardboard packaging is twice as expensive as plastic Among the biobased materials that will have to take the place of plastic trays: cardboard. But it is not unanimous among producers. “Fruits and vegetables presented in trays of less than 1.5 kilo, those covered by the decree, recalls François Bes, the director of the Ille-Fruits cooperative,

    are first-price products that can be found on the shelves of supermarkets. Cardboard packaging is twice as expensive as plastic. This will necessarily impact the selling price to the consumer. Not to mention the problem of wet products that cannot be stored in certain biobased packaging. But now we have all winter to think about how to get ready for the stone fruit season to kick off next spring. “

    Obsolete stocks will have to be destroyed Another concern raised by the president of Fdsea, the lack of attractiveness of products packaged in cardboard. “It is estimated that we will lose 30% of sales by presenting the fruits in opaque boxes”,

    insists Bruno Vila who also fears to suffer a shortage of regulatory packaging in the next six months, when all the producers will place orders. Billions of trays will have to be supplied. And so many current stocks become obsolete that will have to be destroyed. Producers will also have to think about changing their packaging lines. “We will have to change all the current packaging facilities for our products, deplores Vitor Dacruz from the Ille Roussillon cooperative in Thuir.

    We are promised various aids, but that will never compensate for what we have to pay to change this equipment. “

    And in the opinion of reasonable people in the sector, sales of fruit and vegetables will slide more or less quickly towards bulk packaging. Currently it represents almost half of the volumes sold in stores.

    A tolerance of six months will be granted and a deadline until 2026 put in place for the most fragile fruits and vegetables. “Cardboard, not that green” Also affected by this decree, the suppliers of trays and other packaging for producers. At Point Vert, specialist in the field, we think that the cardboard solution is not the most relevant. “Plastic suffers from a kind of dirty mouth crime, smiles Thomas Limia, the boss of the Perpignan company. Cardboard benefits from a better ecological a priori whereas it is false. It is not that recyclable, is not as neutral as you might think and in addition, since it is heavier and bulkier, it requires more transport and handling. The carbon footprint is not in its favor. It is in fact a false good idea “.And to promote rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate *) which, in the opinion of the packaging industry, has all the required ecological, economical and aesthetic conditions. “It’s a solution that would have been easy to implement and much more interesting for everyone

    , continues Thomas Limia. But once again, those who laid down this law do not know much about the profession … “


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