BLOG / Goodbye, Plastic-Wrapped Cucumbers. Hello, Healthy Planet.
09.22.20

Goodbye, Plastic-Wrapped Cucumbers. Hello, Healthy Planet.

Author: Apeel Team

Imagine, if you will, a produce department free of all that pesky plastic. It’s a beautiful sight, right? All fresh fruits and vegetables for the picking, and a lot less wasteful wrappings standing in their way.

We’re proud to be partnering with Houweling’s to release plastic-free cucumbers! The shrink wrap that’s been used to slow their water-loss and retain freshness is hardly ever recycled and is usually made from fossil fuels. That’s where Apeel’s plant-based protection comes into play, allowing these beauties the chance to last longer without the need to get all wrapped up in plastic or any other unsustainable bad news.

A Plastic-Free Partnership

Houweling’s Group is a leader in the sustainability world— world-renowned as a 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. They’re changing those numbers by using Apeel’s plant-based edible “peel” to maintain quality. Together, we can say goodbye to plastic wraps and hello to a healthy planet.

The Apeel Long English Cucumbers are rolling out to grocers in the Western United States. It’s good news for forward-thinking 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 in 2019 (The Packer).

Of course, it’s also 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.

plasticfreecucumbergraphicV3

Houweling’s total plastic savings opportunity with Apeel is the 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!

Impressive, right?

But How Does It Work?

With Apeel, Long English Cucumbers better retain color and firmness 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.

Apeel-Cucumber-Diagrams-2020-V1

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 and normally wrapped in plastic can say a final goodbye to their plastic protection... and we can all say hello to a healthier planet.

Apeel Cucumbers are currently available in select Walmart stores in the western United States. Want to find plastic-free Apeel Cucumbers or other Apeel produce near you?

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