We believe in the sustainable use of all our resources. Every year, we recycle or reuse over 2,000 metric tons of the plastic bags and twine used on company farms. We send the plastic bags to recycling companies where they are made into plastic buckets, water pipes, paving stones and other products. We even built a pedestrian bridge in Costa Rica from recycled bags.
We also reuse the wooden pallets that banana boxes are stacked on, which saves 35,000 trees each year.
We even recycle our bananas. When fruit doesn’t measure up to the quality expected by our customers, we have developed other outlets to put these unused bananas to good use. These are bananas that are still very good to eat but may not look good enough to display in the store. We will either sell or donate them locally or turn them into banana puree. Bruised bananas we give to farmers who use them for cattle feed.
We even turn discarded fruit materials into energy to power our Mundimar facility in Costa Rica, thanks to an innovative biodigester system.
A biodigester operates without any fuel or electricity: gravity and natural bacterial processes do the work. Wastewater from our banana plant is sent to the biodigester through underground piping. A strainer then separates out large solid particles, which are not suitable for the biodigester and this waste is captured in holding ponds. Next the wastewater goes through a stainless steel filter to remove any remaining solids, which also get captured in the holding ponds. Eventually the solid waste in the holding ponds gets used as organic fertilizer by local farmers.
The wastewater enters the biodigester’s six interconnected chambers where anaerobic (low oxygen condition) microorganisms convert the biomass to biogas. The biogas, consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, accumulates and is stored in large rubber bags.
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