A new laser etching technique might make the small labels on fruits and vegetables a thing of the past.

While on an individual level, the small labels that are placed on our fruits and vegetables hardly appear to be a major environmental concern, when we consider the resources used – from ink to paper – on a global scale for something that is immediately thrown away, the equation becomes rather problematic. But that might be a thing of the past thanks to a new laser etching technology that utilizes a low-energy carbon dioxide beam to safely create labels directly on produce. The technique is already being used in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Rim and has recently been approved in Asia, South Africa, Central and South America, Canada, and the European Union. Pending an okay from the FDA, we can expect to see the technique being employed in the US sometime soon.

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