Dole to Turn Bananas and Pineapples Into Packaging

Dole is looking to tackle the world’s food waste. The fresh fruits and vegetable company is exploring ways to turn its banana and pineapple waste into packaging.

In April, the company released the Dole Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2020. In it, the company unveiled its new sustainability framework “The Dole Way.” Dole outlined its first-ever enterprise-wide sustainability goals.

“If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming,” Dole president Pier Luigi Sigismondi told Fast Company.

He continued: “When we waste fruit or food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if it goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.”

To help curb this issue, Dole plans to eliminate all fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025. It is now working on transforming its wasted banana leaves and pineapple skins into compostable packaging.

“Our ultimate goal is to convert all our plastic packaging into biodegradable solutions that kids can convert into containers with seeds that can be used entirely in public or private gardens,” Sigismondi explained.

Dole to Turn Bananas and Pineapples Into Packaging
Dole is looking to transform its banana and pineapple waste into compostable packaging.

Sustainability and Social Impact

In its report, the company outlined a number of other ambitious sustainability goals.

Dole is currently exploring ways it can turn its excess food waste into electricity. It plans to use the electricity to power its processing plants. It plans to reduce emissions from shipping by 30 percent and achieve net-zero carbon emissions from Dole-managed operations by 2030.

The company also revealed its social impact goals. By 2025, the company also plans to donate 2,500 tons of fresh fruit and produce to underserved communities. It will also donate at least $0.07 for each box of Dole-branded bananas and pineapples sold. The money will fund local community impact projects over the next five years. This will equal a cumulative social investment of $50 million by 2025.

“Without a doubt sustainability and respect for human rights are fundamental to Dole’s way of operating. [They] are essential to the long-term growth of our business,” Dole’s CEO, Johan Linden, said in the report.

He continued: “This should always be top-of-mind and part of what we do every day.