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Photo of absurdly packaged airport snack sparks anger: 'You're literally shortening their shelf life by doing this'

"Normally, you'd take care of such concerns by just washing it before eating."

"Normally, you’d take care of such concerns by just washing it before eating."

Photo Credit: iStock

It seems more and more products are being sold wrapped in unnecessary layers of plastic. It's a cheap packaging, but it still has major drawbacks for consumers and the planet. While many of the offending items are found in grocery store produce aisles, one Redditor just shared an example found while flying in Europe.

What happened?

According to the Redditor, they received the photo in their post from a friend. "My friend found this at the airport. Makes me so mad," they said.

"Normally, you'd take care of such concerns by just washing it before eating."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo shows a shelf in a store inside the airport. Lined up in tidy rows are ordinary, whole apples. But each one comes inside a small plastic cup with a lid and costs €4.75.

Why do these apples for sale matter?

The price on its own is bad enough. "Almost 5€ for a single apple? Now I'm even more mad," read one popular comment.

"The apple is actually only 30 cents, the rest is for the plastic," said another user.

But inflated prices are par for the course inside an airport, where sellers know they have a captive audience.

What's more unusual is the packaging. Plastic cups like the ones pictured are difficult to recycle. That's even truer when common measures to ensure items go to the correct spot — like labels for separate recycling bins — aren't used correctly. It's very likely those plastic fruit cups are going to become more of the millions of pieces of trash collected from large airports.

When they do, the best-case scenario is that they spend the next hundred years or more ever-so-slowly decaying in a landfill. Even worse, they might escape to pollute the environment with microplastics or harm wildlife. 

"This is especially infuriating because not only is it pointless, but apples give off a gas that will make them rot faster," pointed out another commenter. "So you're literally shortening their shelf life by doing this."

Why would the seller wrap apples this way?

Some commenters pointed out potential benefits to the arrangement.

"I think it's a prewashed apple so they put it in plastic so you can eat it without washing it," said one user.

"You wouldn't want to eat an apple that's been sitting out exposed on a shelf in an airport, with all kinds of people coughing and sneezing on it and fondling it or whatever. I'd have my doubts about its cleanliness," said another Redditor. "Normally, you'd take care of such concerns by just washing it before eating ... but you don't have any practical way to wash produce in an airport."

What can I do to reduce plastic waste and save money?

The obvious best course of action is to bring your own food when traveling to avoid single-use plastics. An apple from the grocery store is one-tenth the cost or less, and you can wash it yourself to ensure that no one else has gotten any germs on it.

Plus, there is a wide variety of other snacks you can pack, including home-cooked treats and garden produce, and you can use plastic-free containers to store your goods. 

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