Collaboration between a Canadian and an Australian company has resulted in being first to market with a compostable and recyclable top-seal punnet for strawberries in Australia. “It is the first time that this type of strawberry packaging is available in Australia and it is currently being trialed with a large retailer in the country,” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CKF, the Canadian manufacturer of the punnet.

Fresh Berry Co, a diversified Australian grower/shipper of fresh produce, chose the Earthcycle punnets because the environmental credentials of the packaging match the sustainability objectives of the company.

“Sustainable agricultural and operational practices are founding principles of our company” says John Pettinella, one of three owners of Fresh Berry, “so it was a natural choice for us to use the Earthcycle compostable and recyclable punnets for our trial”. CKF said top sealed strawberry punnets are 95 percent less plastic by weight than traditional PET clamshells and can be home composted or easily recycled in the waste paper stream. “Clearly, wider disposal options for Earthcycle and the fact that we are helping to reduce plastic land and marine waste fits with our sustainability mandates,” adds Pettinella.

The trial with Fresh Berry Co. started at the beginning of August 2018 and according to the company, is already seeing strong interest and support from consumers for the packaging. Consumers are attuned to the environmental impacts of plastic waste, especially in Australia, which heavily relies on its marine environment for tourism and industry. “We have heard from our customers that they appreciate the work we have put into qualifying and bringing environmentally responsible packaging to the market and they also say the packaging looks great,” adds John Pettinella. 

“Fresh Berry is a great company to work with to commercialize this new packaging concept in Australia,” says Dennis. “The Pettinella Family wants to make a difference to their environment and it shows by the dedication and hard work they have put into bringing this new packaging to market”.

The soft fruit punnets are the newest extension to the Earthcycle product line and aside from strawberries, there are punnets for blueberries and raspberries. Developed with industry input, the punnets mirror the common footprint of PET punnets, so customers can avoid additional investments in tooling. “We want our new punnets to be as easy as ‘plug and play’, allowing our customers to easily swap in and out of our compostable punnets without having to experience down time,” adds Dennis. The punnets will be commercially available starting in September 2018.

For more information:
Brad Dennis
CKF, Inc.
Tel: +1 (416) 249-2272