There are so many great things about bananas. In addition to being an important source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, they’re naturally wrapped, so companies that sell them don’t have to worry about packaging. That is, unless that company is 7-Eleven.
Last month, 7-Eleven tested a new plastic wrap to keep single bananas yellow and firm for five days (more than double the two-day shelf life for unwrapped bananas), according to an article from ABC news. This is no small matter, as the chain will sell more than 27 million bananas this year.
That means 27 million individual plastic wrappers that are entirely unnecessary. But the question is, who is the culprit here? Marketing vice president at Fresh Del Monte, Dennis Christou, points out that by extending banana shelf life they’re reducing store deliveries, thereby cutting their carbon footprint. Perhaps it’s the consumers that are at fault, unwilling to buy bananas that are a little brown in places.
Perhaps the problem is our nation’s addiction to bananas in the first place, all of which have to be shipped from tropical climates.
In any case, the nation’s largest convenience store chain is currently testing their plastic-wrapped bananas in 27 Dallas-area locations. If it’s a success, 7-Eleven could roll out plastic-wrapped bananas to most of its 5,787 stores by early 2010.
What’s next? Individual packaging for oranges? Shrink-wrapped watermelons. Nature has provided here for us, folks. I think it knows what it’s doing.