Plastic Wrapped Bananas: Guest Post

I’ve decided to take a little break from blogging (read more about the reasons why), but wanted to continue to provide interesting and insightful content on my blog in the meantime. I asked for help and my tribe answered my call, so for a while I will have guest posts from various bloggers interspersed with posts by me when I am moved to write. Thank you for your understanding. — Amy (CDG)

Today’s guest post comes from Amy who blogs at An Aussie Mum’s Guide to Eco Friendly Babies.

Plastic Wrapped Bananas. Yes, I’m Serious!

Despite so many people attempting to make a difference for the better, some companies have other ideas. Del Monte have bought out a range of plastic wrapped bananas — to save the environment. Say what? Yes, they claim that the plastic wrapping on the bananas in plastic is “...Designed to provide significant carbon footprint savings by reducing the frequency of deliveries and the amount of waste going to landfill. The packaging is also recyclable.

Looking at the company website suggests the packaged bananas are going into vending machines and convenience stores and will potentially make it easier for people to grab a healthy snack on the go. Surely, there is a better option than non-biodegradable plastic? Even here is Australia, where life is a little slower and so much of the land is still pristine, we are succumbing to the mantra of ‘buy, use, discard’. You can buy ‘healthy’ apple slices from McDonalds- packaged in plastic and dipped in some foul tasting substance to stop browning. Wouldn’t it be cheaper (and eco-friendlier) just to use a whole, unpackaged, untreated apple? There is also the prevalence of cut and packaged vegetables in the supermarkets- celery, carrots, gourmet tomatoes, Asian vegetable mixes and pre-made salads. Are people so inept in the kitchen these days they can’t slice celery? Is there some sort of social benefit to saying “Look, these are upper-class Tomatoes- they come in a packet!”

It’s not just food. If you buy a toaster, you get a whole bunch of Styrofoam, plastic, tie-wires, bubble wrap, warranty cards, brochures for other products (want to buy a coffee machine with that toaster?) and instructions that are 18 pages long because they are in 7 different languages. Retailers receive deliveries that are in boxes three times the needed size and packed with plastic and puffed rice, and usually yet another copy of this months deals (you know, the ones that were sent in the mail, and with the last four orders). The bank who offers e-statements to save paper sends you a quarterly offer for insurance that you already have. In a world where email is so quick and easy, where technology is so advanced, why can’t we start using it for something good? We could email statements, bills, special offers and all the other rubbish that comes through the mail. We can come up with biodegradable, renewal, ecologically sound packaging, or just use some sense and pack smaller and transport less.

Can a single person make a difference? I like to believe so. We can email companies like Del Monte, asking them to come up with a better solution. We can tell suppliers that unless they pack smarter, we will no longer buy from them. We can pressure our schools and encourage our workplaces to adopt ‘nude food’ policies. We can slice our own celery and not buy food with unnecessary wrapping, packagings and labels. We can reduce, reuse, recycle and above all, teach our kids to do the same. After all, it may be one of our kids who eventually heads up a company like Del Monte and finally makes a change… for the better.

Photo credit: Friends Eat

Amy is a working mum of two from Australia. Between her kids (who are nine years apart) she’s been working in the natural health industry, which has opened her eyes to the down side of many aspects of modern life. Since having a new baby she started a journey to find a more natural, holistic way of living. Amy wants to share what she finds with other mums who are looking to change their way of thinking and have happier, healthier, more eco-friendly lives! She blogs at An Aussie Mum’s Guide to Eco Friendly Babies.

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16 thoughts on “Plastic Wrapped Bananas: Guest Post”

  1. I wrote about the plastic wrapped bananas a while ago too, because they’re just so ridiculous. It’s really not that hard to buy just one banana if that’s all you want. It would at least work for convenience stores if not for vending machines.

    Overpackaging gets really ridiculous these days. I really detest the little 100 calorie packages of foods. I know they help if you aren’t so good at self control, but they’re still a ridiculous amount of packaging for a small amount of food. People could do much better to make their own 100 calorie packages and reuse the packaging. Doesn’t even take that long, and you can include healthier options than what most those snacks are anyhow.

  2. It’s funny that I read this today. I noticed plastic packaged “sweet potato spears” at the grocery store today, which my husband and I had a good laugh at while I chopped sweet potatoes for supper. (which took me all of about seven minutes…)

    Also, I have a HUGE bag of styrofoam pieces in my storage room that I can’t quite bring myself to throw out. There has to be some use for it somewhere…

    Good post!

  3. Oh that is just crazy! Talk about wasting the enviroment, it is easier just to get one of those banana boxes which you can use over and over again to protect your banana

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  5. Yeah. That’s really weird. If there’s anything that doesn’t need packaging, it’s a banana. Built-in package included!

    Maybe if we could get Del Monte to EMAIL bananas, we could get on the right track.;-)

  6. i think we should all do as the german’s have done. when i was living there- you only had one trash barrel that would be picked up. so you would literally see people unwrapping certain products with excessive packaging and leaving it on the shelf for the store to discard of. stores were also fined if they had too much packaging- so they stopped carrying the brands that had too much until they reduced their packaging. sadly, the only solutions these days must be related to money. but they are effective.

  7. GREAT post!!!!!! I agree with you on the people being inept and not being able to chop celery, and also the microwave packaging. There has got to be a better way!

  8. If I still lived in California, with a lower water content in the air, I would likely agree with you. Instead, I live in Washington where we almost never dry out.
    So when I buy bananas at Costco on Saturday afternoon by Sunday afternoon I’ve got fruitflys and by Tuesday morning they’re starting to go slimey bad. I go grocery shopping once a week, if not once a month. (I buy bulk and freeze fruit, vegetables, and meat and buy bulk whole grains and beans)
    Costco started carrying plastic wrapped bunch bananas a couple months ago and I like it. It extends the life of my bananas by at least a week. It’s Thursday today and the bananas that I bought this last Saturday are still just starting to get little brown spots.
    Once the bunch is gone, I either reuse the bag for something else or I recycle it.
    Now would I buy a single banana wrapped in plastic? Why would I? I have a perfectly good bunch sitting on my counter.

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