Jan 22, 2024
Washington state to decide on produce sticker ban

Washington state legislators are considering a ban on non-compostable stickers on fresh produce.

Specialty crop groups, including the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), say the ban could lead to an increase in the use of plastic packaging and are asking members to voice opposition to the measure.

On Jan. 23, there will be hearings on proposed Washington state legislation relating to food waste.

“Part Five of these bills includes a ban on plastic stickers on all fresh produce grown or sold in Washington by 2028. The sponsors’ goal is to reduce the amount of food waste going into landfills where it decays and produces methane gas,” according to the WSTFA in a news release.

“Plastic stickers are viewed as a potential impediment to the diversion of produce waste to composting instead of landfills,” according to the release. “The bills do also include some potentially beneficial incentives for agricultural producers to donate surplus edible product to food banks.”

Suppliers of labels and stickers are working to develop viable alternative products, but these are both more expensive and either do not meet the specific compostability standards in the bill, do not meet the performance standards required by retailers to ensure durable and scannable labels, or both, according to the release.

The WSTFA is asking members to register opposition to the bills before Washington House and Senate committee hearings on Jan. 23.

“WSTFA members will also be in Olympia that same day for our annual Tree Fruit Day lobbying event, and will be discussing this issue directly with legislators,” according to the release.

To submit comments to the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee, which meets at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Jan. 23, choose from the online options from the committee’s agenda. The text of the bill, SB 6180, is also online.

To submit comments to the House Environment and Energy Committee, which meets at 4 p.m. Pacific Jan. 23, choose from the online options on the committee’s agenda. The text of the bill, HB 2301, is also online.


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