Biodegradable packs here
A DERWENT Valley fruit grower is showing its punnets pack more than just sweetness as this year’s raspberry season kicks into gear.
The Westerway Raspberry Farm is beginning a move away from plastic packaging to a more eco-friendly alternative in a bid to be more environmentally sustainable.
After first discovering Biopak’s compostable packaging buying food from a restaurant in Sydney, farm owner Richard Clark said changing the containers to biodegradable sugarcane-pulp packs was a big step in improving the farm’s environmental responsibility.
“When I first bought food in this new cardboard-like packaging we’re rolling out, I thought no way will this work to hold the curry I was eating at the time. Nor would it be a good storage means for our very juicy raspberries,” he said.
“But I wanted to test it out. After keeping curry in the container refrigerated overnight, I then emptied it and filled it with water and left it for five days. I was amazed at how well it held its shape and didn’t lose any liquid.
“We’re very pleased to repackage our products with such a reliable, yet environmentally friendly material.”
Mr Clark said the move to compostable packaging fit in with the business’ perception of consumer demand.
“I think Tasmanians like to know where their food comes from and consumers educated around waste seem to be aware of the footprint non-compostable waste has,” he said.
Biopak chief executive Gary Smith said more food producers were starting to move away from single-use plastics.
“We’ve noticed there is quite a strong movement within the fruit and vegetable industry to choose compostable packaging in favour of plastics,” he said.
“It’s well known how damaging plastic is on the environment. While sugarcane pulp products do also have a carbon footprint, it’s no where near as damaging as plastic as it’s a rapidly renewable resource.”
DURABLE: Westerway Raspberry Farm’s RIchard Clark with the biodegradable containers the business uses for its produce.