English cucumbers grown by Houweling's Group and treated with Apeel Sciences' shelf-life technology are available at Walmart stores. ( Courtesy Houweling's Group )

English cucumbers that have been treated by Apeel Science’s shelf life technology to replace plastic wrap are now available at Walmart stores.

The cucumbers, grown and marketed by greenhouse growers Houweling’s Group, are able to maintain freshness, firmness and color without the tradition single-use plastic wrap on English cucumbers, according to a news release.

Walmart is among the first retailers to pilot the plastic-free cucumbers. Other retailers carry the product; the company “is not at liberty” to name retailers at this time, according to a spokeswoman.

“From the first time we reviewed the potential of plastic-free cucumbers, we saw the opportunity and the challenge of bringing avante garde technology to market,” Kevin Doran, Houweling’s Group president and CEO, said in the release. “From a high level, the opportunity to lead a disruption in this category and improve our decorated sustainability profile put us on course to where we are today.”

For every 100,000 cases of the Apeel cucumbers sold, it eliminates the equivalent of 164,000 plastic water bottles, according to the release. Houweling's will be cutting more than 60,000 pounds from its supply chain every year through the process.

This is the first time Apeel is being used to eliminate plastic. The technology is being used in the U.S. and Europe to extend the shelf life of a number of produce items, from avocados to apples and citrus.

“When surveying the cucumber consumer, we heard loud and clear the desire to avoid single-use plastics, with 62% holding the preference,” David Bell, Houweling’s Group chief marketing officer, said in the release. “This echoed the direct requests we hear from consumers and retail partners around removing the plastic. Quite simply, it wasn’t possible until we found Apeel.”

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