As the fresh produce industry moves to become more sustainable growers, packers and retailers and looking for alternatives to plastic packaging. This is not as simple as it sounds. Produce packaging has to be sturdy to protect the product and help it last longer, it has to be moisture-repellent to withstand the rigours of the cold chain, and it also has to appeal to the customer. Companies like Woolworths, Hydro Produce, Westerway Farms, and Costa Group are ditching their plastic produce trays in favour of BioPak carbon neutral alternatives, made from sugarcane pulp – a rapidly renewable material that will completely degrade in the home compost bin.
Produce packaging that doesn't cost the earth
BioPak's produce trays are made from sugarcane and can be home-composted. Each year, Australian farmers produce 2,659,600 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables. 61% of this produce ends up in Australian households, often in polystyrene or PET produce trays, both of which are made from plastic. BioPak's BioCane trays are made from sugarcane pulp, also known as bagasse. Sugarcane pulp is a waste product of sugarcane manufacturing which is too often thrown away – but it can be turned into a study material that can be composted in your backyard.
How produce trays can make a difference
Switching to alternative packaging not only reduces plastic pollution - it can help fight climate change. By switching 50 million produce trays from regular plastic to compostable BioCane alternatives, producers, retailers, and customers can:
- Avoid 545 tonnes of plastic being produced
- Reduce CO2 emissions by 992 tonnes (equivalent to driving around the world 93 times)
- Divert waste from landfill
These trays are certified home compostable and are also accepted in co-mingled recycling. With the global increase in demand for fresh produce, reducing our waste and carbon footprint has become more important for producers and consumers alike. Information taken from BioPak's website. Read about World Oceans Day and Plastic Free July on our blog. To purchase our BioCane trays, see our products page. Post by Tallis Baker. Planet Friendly Packaging acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19. Stay safe.