Banning stickers on fruit would stop 100 million pieces of plastic from becoming waste every week.
BusinessWaste has urged the government to introduce new regulations to tackle the stickers, which are used as branding and to display bar code information.
Great British Apples suggests nearly 30 million individual apples are sold each week across the country, with many other types of fruit such as bananas, avocados, and pears also being sold with plastic stickers attached.
BusinessWaste surveyed 2,600 consumers about the issue and found 94% agreed the stickers were wasteful.
Spokesman Mark Hall said: “These stickers are removed immediately, thrown in the bin or littered in parks on picnics, and they find their way to landfill. Fruit has its own packaging as provided by Mother Nature – why on earth do we find it necessary to pop a bit of plastic on to make a healthy snack into an environmental hazard?”
He added: “When you see Morrisons selling a single banana – a fruit that comes in its own protective skin – in a non-recyclable tray with single-use wrap, you know we’ve reached an unnecessary level of packaging. Fruit stickers aren’t biodegradable, can’t be recycled, and do nothing that signage around the shelves or options on the tills for checkout workers couldn’t do.
“Fruit is brilliant and we aren’t discouraging that – we should all be getting our five a day! – but we urge retailers and produce growers to innovate and find new ways to market their products. There must be a better way, and it doesn’t involve creating pointless pieces of plastic to stick onto food.”