Dutch trader, Hilhorst Fruithandel, is at the end of the chain. As such, this company’s Jos Hilhorst is becoming increasingly annoyed by the unnecessary use of plastic packaging. “I do not need it, and neither do my customers,” he says. Jos removes all the unneeded plastic when he sets up his stall. He also ensures that it is properly disposed of. However, not very many people go to this trouble. This makes for a substantial amount of uncollected litter after a market day.

“There is a lot of attention being paid to the plastic problem in various forms of the media. This issue has actually been around for decades. Free plastic bags have been banned since 2015,” Jos says. “Since then, we have handed out 96% fewer of these bags at our stall. Good, hey? However, time seems to be standing still at the wholesalers. Come on people; the times are changing, and faster than you think.”

In Jos’ view, too much packaging is used for fruit and vegetables. “In my opinion, it is now high time – after 40 years – to stop using plastic cover sheets. These sheets are being used more and more in each and every box of citrus.” “I set my stall up early in the morning. When I do this, I take the cover sheets off the boxes. I then place them in the flammable industrial waste bin. I do this because it does not belong with either plastic or paper waste,” he explains. “These cover sheets provide absolutely no added value for the end user, the consumer. Some traders leave the cover sheet on, but I do not want to hide all the beautiful fruit under that.”

Jos has already mentioned this issue to the wholesalers. “They admit that their suppliers want to promote their products in this manner. However, this can be done with a stamp on the box. For customers, these brands have no value.”

He has decided to return the collected plastic to the importers when he buys his produce. “Maybe that will wake them up,” he concludes. – freshplaza.com