Two peer reviewed studies commissioned by TIPA seem to indicate that compostable packaging could be as effective as conventional plastic, or even outperform it for shelf-life of fresh produce. The compostable packaging specialist said scientists at the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Institute (Israel), found compostable packaging enables shelf-life of bell peppers up to 21 days and cucumbers up to 15 days. These are better numbers than those for conventional plastic.
Researchers used cucumbers and bell peppers to test the differences between compostable packaging and conventional plastic packaging. Both types of packaging allowed bell peppers to be kept for four weeks, and cucumbers for two weeks in refrigerated home storage. In addition, properly designed micro-perforated compostable packages extended the non-refrigerated shelf life of cucumbers up to 15 days, compared to no more than 10 days in conventional plastic packs.
An additional advantage of the compostable packaging was prevention of water condensation that encourages rotting of vegetables wrapped in conventional plastics. The compostable packages used in the studies were purchased from TIPA Corp.