C-store giant 7-Eleven thought it was onto something good when it began testing individual plastic packaging designed to a keep banana yellow and firm for five days, as opposed to brown and turning to mush on the shelf.
After all, “customers want yellow bananas – not brown,” said 7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto, according to USA Today.
But the Natural Resources Defense Council has come out against the packaging, which is being tested in 27 Dallas-area locations.
“More plastic packaging is not a sustainable solution,” Jenny Powers, a NRDC spokeswoman, told USA Today.
Powers suggested there should be a better solution than wrapping plastic around “something that comes naturally wrapped in the first place.”
For its part, Fresh Del Monte, which is supplying bananas in the pilot, said it is working on a more sustainable version of the packaging.
The new individual packaging is designed to slow banana respiration by keeping most oxygen and moisture out, extending shelf life from two days to five days. Fresh Del Monte also said that extending banana shelf life cuts carbon emissions by reducing store deliveries.
If the pilot is successful, 7-Eleven may roll the packaging out to its nearly 5,800 stores by early 2010.
The chain sells more than 27 million bananas a year.