Fresh Del Monte Produce and Arena Packaging have established a strategic partnership for the launch of reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for bananas.

The move is anticipated to significantly lower food waste, carbon emissions, and operational expenses, as well as preserve the health of the leading fruit in the fresh produce segment.

The introduction of these RPCs is set to enable enhanced airflow and extend the shelf life of banana shipments.

RPCs are said to offer both reusability and traceability, with a life cycle of up to 15 years.

Each container can be reused up to five times within a year, and in case of damage, can be replaced and repurposed.

Fresh Del Monte CSO and R&D SVP Hans Sauter said: “By emphasising the reuse of packaging materials, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint, while promoting a circular economy of plastics.

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“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.”

Last month, the companies’ ‘Banana RPCs’ made their debut in South Texas, US, retail stores, providing consumers with an eco-friendly option.

Arena founder and CEO Tony Arena added: “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.”