The experimental strawberry punnets being trialled by Tinaberries.
The experimental strawberry punnets being trialled by Tinaberries. Contributed

Punnets trials are berry biodegradable

BUNDABERG strawberry growers Tinaberries are trialling a new type of punnet that won't cost the earth.

Eschewing the clear, stiff plastic variety, Tina and Bruce McPherson are trying out punnets with a compostable cardboard base and sides.

Mr McPherson said the experiment was in the early stages.

"We've put it up on Facebook to gauge what our consumers think,” he said.

"We're trialling them in the cool room to see whether or not they collapse - that's an unknown at this stage.”

The punnets have a clear, food grade wrap on top.

"(The bottom is) 100% compostable,” Mrs McPherson said. "The wrap makes up 6% of the punnet. It's PVC and it's recyclable.”

The trial is a move to give the people what they want.

"There is more and more demand for plastic-free (packaging),” she said.

"It's been difficult in the past to find a product that is plastic-free that still maintains the integrity of the packaging in transport and refrigeration. We've looked at bamboo packaging but that doesn't seem to work.

"It's like disposable coffee cups - we are all guilty of that.

"It's something we can do and something we can help our consumers do.”

The punnets were sourced from a local supplier.

Dozens of Tinaberries fans welcomed the idea.

"Excellent,” Margaret Cole said. "We have been trying to minimise our plastic use but we love strawberries.”


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