According to Fresh Del Monte, the containers have a 15-year life cycle, are both trackable and reusable and allow better airflow and a longer shelf life of banana shipments

Fresh Del Monte

Fresh Del Monte and Arena Packaging have developed new reusable plastic containers for bananas (Credit: Business Wire)

American food company Fresh Del Monte Produce has partnered with Arena Packaging to launch reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for bananas.

The move seeks to lower food waste, carbon emissions, and operating expenses, and maintain the fruit’s health.

The new RPCs will allow better airflow and a longer shelf life for the banana shipments.

According to Fresh Del Monte, the containers have a 15-year life cycle and are both trackable and reusable.

Each container can be used around five times in a single year and in case it’s broken, the individual parts can be collected, replaced, and used again.

Fresh Del Monte chief sustainability officer and R&D SVP Hans Sauter said: “After years of collaborative work, this groundbreaking RPC design not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but addresses fruit quality and pallet shipping density ensuring sustainable impact at every level of our supply chain.

“Alliances such as this one serve as another example of how we’re always seeking ways to improve our operations with business partnerships that strive to achieve a more sustainable future.”

Traditionally, bananas were shipped in single-use cardboard boxes or by hanging them from hooks in cargo ships.

The Banana RPC’s deployment has been said to improve the fruit’s appearance in addition to making the fruit appear healthier overall and requiring less handling across the supply chain.

Last month, the RPCs were introduced to retail locations in the South Texas region, providing customers with a simple and environmentally friendly option.

Arena Packaging founder and CEO Tony Arena said: “Our collaboration with Fresh Del Monte Produce is set to redefine the entire process of packing, shipping, ripening, storing, and merchandising bananas.

“This marks a significant milestone in our shared mission to establish a more sustainable and circular packaging system.

“Arena Packaging’s innovative Banana RPC is the result of years of dedicated design and validation supported by industry veteran Jim Vangelos and Fresh Del Monte’s Sales VP, Mike Naftel and Senior Director of Global Packaging, Christian Salnars.”