Del Monte partnership introducing reusable plastic containers for bananas
Fresh Del Monte Produce is partnering with Arena Packaging to introduce Reusable Plastic Containers for bananas, a move the companies say will preserve fruit health while reducing food waste, carbon emissions and operational costs.
RPC mean improved airflow for banana shipments and extended shelf life for the fruit, according to a news release. RPC are trackable, with a life cycle of up to 15 years, according to the release. Each container will be reused approximately five times a year. Damaged parts can be collected, replaced and repurposed.
“Making produce more sustainable for consumers, from the farms to the shelves, has always been a top priority for Fresh Del Monte,” Hans Sauter, Fresh Del Monte’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of R&D, said in the release. “By emphasizing the reuse of packaging materials, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint while promoting a circular economy of plastics. After years of collaborative work, this groundbreaking RPC design not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but addresses fruit quality and pallet shipping density ensuring sustainable impact at every level of our supply chain.”
For decades, bananas have been shipped in single-use cardboard boxes, typically holding up to 40 pounds per box. The bananas are air-stacked in the back room of grocery stores, a labor-intensive process, according to the release.
Tony Arena, founder and CEO of Arena Packaging, said that RPC reduce the carbon footprint by 90% over a traditional corrugated banana carton
“Our collaboration with Fresh Del Monte Produce is set to redefine the entire process of packing, shipping, ripening, storing and merchandising bananas,” Arena said in the release. “This marks a significant milestone in our shared mission to establish a more sustainable and circular packaging system.”
Banana RPC began arriving at south Texas retail stores last month, according to the release.