Green in­tent

Biodegrad­able packs here

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

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.”

Pic­ture: MATT THOMP­SON

DURABLE: Wester­way Rasp­berry Farm’s RIchard Clark with the biodegrad­able con­tain­ers the busi­ness uses for its pro­duce.

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