A DERWENT Valley fruit grower’s punnets pack more than just a punch of juicy goodness.
Westerway Raspberry Farm is beginning a move away from plastic packaging to a more eco-friendly alternative in a bid to be more environmentally conscious.
After first discovering Biopak’s compostable packaging while buying food from a restaurant in Sydney, Westerway Raspberry Farm grower Richard Clark said changing the company containers to biodegradable sugarcane pulp packs was a big step forward 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,” Mr Clark 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 a compostable alternative, which has seen the company package 30,000 raspberry punnets this year, aligned 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 CEO 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 that companies are beginning to choose compostable packaging in favour of plastics,” he said.
“I think it’s well known how damaging plastic is on the environment.
“It’s a dormant resource with a huge amount of carbon, and 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.”