The first plastic-free cucumbers in Canada are hitting grocery shelves.

Westmoreland Topline Farms is a Leamington, Ontario grower that is the first producer in Canada to eliminate plastic packaging from their products. The alternative that the grower is using is an invisible, edible, plant-based spray that was developed by Californian company Apeel Sciences. The production shift by Westmoreland Topline Farms could be an inspiration for others in the industry, as the Federal government announced its single-use plastics ban regulations on June 20, 2022.

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Edible, tasteless spray allows for continued shelf life while eliminating wrapping waste.

Dino DiLaudo stands beside a conveyor belt stacked with freshly grown cucumbers plucked from leafy, green vines that drape down from the glass ceiling of a nearby greenhouse.

These cucumbers are about to go through a treatment process that will eliminate millions of tonnes of single-use plastic from the supply chain. 

“We’ve gone from one of the most complained-about items in the produce aisle to now a completely plastic-free cucumber,” said DiLaudo, vice-president of sales and marketing at Westmoreland Topline Farms.

This week, the Leamington, Ont., grower will be the first in the country to ship English cucumbers that are not individually plastic wrapped to produce sections across Canada. 

Instead, they’ll be treated with a plant-based spray developed by Apeel Sciences that is edible, tasteless and extends the natural shelf life of a cucumber. 

Preview text: CBC News, June 22, 2022, CBC.

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