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Apeel Launches Plastic-Free Cucumbers

Author: Apeel Team

Have you ever imagined a produce department without all that pesky plastic? Today, we’re proud to announce that Apeel’s plant-based solution can be used to free one of the biggest plastic captives: cucumbers. While the shrink wrap applied to many Long English Cucumbers is used to slow water-loss and retain freshness, it’s also non-recyclable and downright unsustainable.

We dreamed of a day when there would be plastic-free cucumbers, and now that dream is starting to come true thanks to a new partnership that will bring plastic-free Long English Cucumbers to market in early 2020.

A Plastic-Free Partnership

Today, Apeel is announcing a partnership with Houweling’s Group, a world-renowned greenhouse grower and marketer dedicated to delivering a full complement of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. In 2018, Houweling’s sold more than 95 percent of their cucumbers wrapped in 2g of plastic shrink wrap each. No longer. Apeel’s plant-based edible “peel” can maintain quality and eliminate the need for plastic wrap - entirely!

Together, Apeel and Houweling’s are going to Ditch the Plastic and Keep the Freshness. In forming this partnership, we’re pointing the way forward to a plastic-free future. It’s good news for retailers looking to reduce plastic waste in their produce departments: cucumbers are a staple in many global cuisines, including the US, where over 50 percent of US consumers reported purchasing them last year (The Packer Fresh Trends 2018). And it’s great news for the environment: under a business-as-usual scenario, Houweling’s alone would use between 72,000 and 86,000 lbs of plastic shrink wrap in 2020. 


Houweling’s total plastic savings opportunity with Apeel would be equivalent to eliminating: 

  • 85 million plastic straws, 14 million plastic forks, or 3.5 million plastic water bottles
  • Enough shrink wrap to cover 200+ football fields or to wrap the Empire State Building 7 times
  • A one-inch-wide strip of shrink wrap going from Los Angeles to New York City and back almost 5 times! 

How Does It Work? 

Apeel-treated Long English Cucumbers better retain color and crispness in both refrigerated and ambient conditions when compared to flow-wrapped cucumbers of the same variety. The ability to protect cucumbers without resorting to plastic wrap is the result of Apeel’s plant-based edible “peel” that slows water loss and oxidation that can lead to spoilage.


Not only that, but Apeel helps to slow the breakdown of chlorophyll that keeps cucumbers green. That means a vegetable that is susceptible to dehydration and shrinkage, normally wrapped in plastic is suddenly, well…free! Free to stay crisp and firm. Free to go sans plastic. And free to be green! 

Interested in meeting us at PMA? Contact our team by filling out the form below! We look forward to helping you reduce your reliance on single-use plastics.