So Much Produce Comes in Plastic. Is There a Better Way?

If it seems like plastic surrounds nearly every cucumber, apple and pepper in the produce aisle, it does.

What began with cellophane in the 1930s picked up speed with the rise of plastic clamshells in the 1980s and bagged salads in the 1990s. Online grocery shopping turbocharged it.

But now the race is on for what people who grow and sell fruits and vegetables are calling a moon shot: breaking plastic’s stranglehold on produce.

In a March survey among produce professionals on Linkedln, the shift to biodegradable material was voted the top trend. “It’s big,” said Soren Bjorn, chief executive officer of Driscoll’s, the world’s biggest grower of berries, which has switched to paper containers in many European markets.

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