Plastic Makes Perfect (Figs!)

Ag & Food |  < 1 min. read

There’s no time like mid-winter for thinking about something completely different – the fruits of mid-summer.

In this case, we’re thinking about fresh figs.  And while (other than idle daydreaming) would a news page about petroleum and petrochemicals be thinking about figs?  We’ve got an answer for that.  Or actually, Matthew Naitove, at Plastics Technology magazine has an answer:

“If you’re a fan of fresh figs (as I am), then you may have resigned yourself (as I have) to the fact that when you buy figs in a plastic mesh-style box, the fruit on the top may look great, but the figs on the bottom will be mashed, mis-shapen, and quite possibly moldy as a result.

“Well, I am resigned to such disappointment no longer, thanks to a more imaginative use of plastics [and there’s your connection!].  For the first time since I have been living in New York City … I found a supermarket that stocks fresh figs in thermoformed PET clamshells, where each piece of fruit (six to eight) is held snugly in its own separate pocket.  No bouncing around, no mashing, no squishing, no leaking of juice to promote mold growth.”

It’s clear, it’s strong, it’s lightweight – you heat it, mold it, turn it into the perfect carrying case for figs.  It’s recyclable when you’re done.  And it’s only made possible by the petrochemicals needed to make that modern plastic.  Not bad, even if the closest you come to a fig, is a Fig Newton.