The Big Problem Costco Shoppers Have With These Honeycrisp Apples

Many apple lovers will tell you, nothing beats a Honeycrisp for sweet apple goodness. Make it an organic Honeycrisp, then you can add the satisfaction of knowing no chemicals went into growing your particular batch of an immensely popular variety. But if you seal those apples in a plastic clamshell package, the wholesome spell is broken. Suddenly, that apple, symbol of doctor-chasing health and goodwill toward schoolteachers, is littering the planet for the next thousand years.

This was the conclusion reached on Reddit, anyhow, after someone on the Costco forum innocuously posted a photo of nine Rainier Fruit Company Honeycrisps in a plastic 10-pack. (One of the apples, presumably, had already been enjoyed.) "Hands down, best apple I've ever had," the poster said.

For some on this particular Reddit thread, however, the plastic packaging was a dealbreaker. "Hate the plastic surrounding them," Redditor Woggy67 said. "Why not package them differently so we can care for our world better? Have never bought these apples at Costco because of this one reason."

"There are greener alternatives to using those giant plastic clamshells," Reddit user ekek280 chimed in, while allowing that "cheap and functional" plastic does a good job of protecting the fruit from damage. Orange Pippin notes that Honeycrisps are usually sold in packs, rather than loosely, because the variety bruises easily.

Plastic packaging doesn't seem to fit this Honeycrisp grower's environmentalist image

Other people on Reddit didn't think the plastic clamshell surrounding Costco's Honeycrisp apples was a significant problem, looking at the big picture. Redditor jerryvo, who as a chemical engineer says they know a thing or two about environmental harm, commented that we should worry about air conditioning, cell phones, and mining for Bitcoin before fretting over a little plastic around our apples.

Still, Rainier Fruit Company, which grows the Honeycrisps sold in plastic at Costco, promotes an image of itself as environmentally enlightened. In an article on the Rainier Fruit website titled, "10 Ways to Make Earth Day an Everyday Priority," two of those 10 ways talk directly about reducing plastic use to reduce environmental harm. On Twitter, Rainier Fruit has touted its use of cardboard packaging for its apples as a better alternative to plastic. But the two examples shown on Twitter are Gala and Pink Lady apples in cardboard — no Honeycrisp. Maybe it's true what they say about plastic being necessary for the sensitive Honeycrisp, to eliminate bruising? Or maybe not. Costco apparently doesn't have a hard-and-fast rule requiring plastic clamshells around this touchy variety. The Costco Business Center website is selling Rainier Fruit Honeycrisps in 5-pound bags.