Irish fruit producer Fyffes has announced changes to its packaging to reduce waste.
In what it says is a 'significant step', it has introduced new, sustainable and fully recyclable paper banding for use on its Organic Fairtrade bananas.
The move, which represents the outcome of an 18-month long period of research and development, sees the company introduce a wrap-around paper band made from 100% Kraft pulp.
This is seen as a more sustainable alternative to the plastic bags used widely within the sector.
Fully compostable and sourced from certified Forestry Stewardship Council approved sources, the new banding has been successfully trialled through leading Irish retail outlets.
Based on estimates, Fyffes says this will result in a reduction of 5,680 kilograms (or over 5.5 tonnes) of plastic.
An essential requirement was that the packaging would maintain the fruit in quality condition whilst being able to withstand climatic and other varying features within the supply chain.
These include tropical temperatures normal in countries where bananas are grown, transportation by ship in temperature-controlled conditions and the ripening process itself.
Food grade inks are used for the print, while adhesives are plant based - not plastic.
The bands are also water resistant.
Emma Hunt-Duffy is sales and marketing manager: "We are very excited to introduce our new recyclable and compostable banana banding.
"This is a significant step in realising one of our sustainability strategic pillars - stewardship for the planet - and has created an opportunity for us to promote the sustainability message amongst our consumers".