As is typical with packaging, the situation is complicated with many hidden elements - there is more than just the initial appearance. A new book, "Why Shrinkwrap a Cucumber?: The Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging" addresses many of these issues. With regards to the film on the gherkin-wannabe, the authors write
"...research shows that a wrapped cucumber lasts more than three times as long as an unwrapped one. It will also lose just 1.5 per cent of its weight through evaporation after 14 days, compared with 3.5 per cent in just three days for an exposed cucumber. A longer life... means less frequent deliveries, with all their consequent energy costs, and, crucially, less waste. Globally, we throw out as much as 50 per cent of food, often when it perishes. It typically goes to landfill and gives off methane, a greenhouse gas."The most poignant commentary that I've ever read on the whole packaging issue however, is this:
"Some materials, such as glass, hardly seem to register on [consumer's] environmental radar, while others, particularly plastics, are never off it."Rational? No. Reality? Yes. And so goes the battle.
 Yes, I know that I should be saying expanded polystyrene foam or EPS, as Styrofoam is actually the registered trademark of Dow for their EPS that is used in insulation or floral arrangements. But it is so much easier to say styrofoam and it communicates better too...
 For some reason, they seem to be called English hothouse cucumbers and are seedless. Compared to the regular cukes, they are pricey, but a wonderful addition to my wife's šaltas barščiai (the Lithuanian version of cold borscht, made with buttermilk...)