Alternative to plastic cucumber wrapping developed
Plastic waste is a huge problem, and though there are efforts to clean up our throw-away mess, measures are also being taken to cut down our usage, particularly single-use plastic. BioBag World Australia and IG Fresh Produce have now come up with an alternative to polyethylene wrap that can be used to keep cucumbers fresh without damaging the environment.
Drakes Supermarkets in southern Australia approached IG Fresh last year and asked the Adelaide-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler to develop an alternative to plastic wrapping that could be composted. Working with BioBag, a bioplastic film was created from a compostable resin that makes use of plant materials including non-GM corn starch.
IG Fresh executive director George Antonas said that while other compostable products already exist, this new development needed to be shrink-wrapped onto a cucumber and therefore required a bit of a rethink.
The Lead South Australia reports that Antonas said: "You buy a cucumber, you peel off the wrapper and you put it in your greens bin and you know it’s not going to add to landfill and that sort of thing. Plastic has its place but not for single use, it just creates too much waste."
Antonas reckons that the new bioplastic wrap could be used to keep all supermarket fruit and vegetables fresh, not just cucumbers. Development continues, but BioBag's Scott Morton says that sales of the new wrap could go international. Until October 16 though, the compostable cucumber wrapping is being used exclusively at 38 Drake supermarkets in southern Australia before being made available for "a wide range of purposes."