Batlow Apples launches eco-friendly punnets
One of Australia's major apple producers is hoping the rest of the industry follows its lead, after releasing one-kilogram eco-friendly punnets.
After launching the cardboard packaging, Batlow Apples National Sales Manager Pat Rositano said it had received positive reactions from consumers.
"Previously, we packed a 1kg Plastic Punnet with Flow Wrap," he said. "Now we are in a position to pack the Eco-Friendly Cardboard punnet straight off the packing line, where it goes through the check-weigher, labeller then palletised for the market. So, it is a much simpler process for us.
"Although the packaging is more expensive – there is some labour saving in the packing shed as we no longer need to process through the wrapping machine. It has been really well received by consumers and the independent sector, whether it be through social media, or the website, saying that it is good that someone has taken the plunge (into cardboard packaging)."
In just one week, the company packed over 17,000 units of the 1kg apple packs, which are available at Harris Farm, Independent Greengrocers and selected IGA stores in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
"We are hoping that other businesses in the pome fruit industry in Australia are able to follow suit, and really drive the no-plastic movement," Mr Rositano said. "I think the consumers are at the stage now where they are asking for it and we have had a lot of pressure to drop the amount of plastic. In saying that, the consumers are the ones actually taking the time out to reach out and say this is fantastic."
The punnets are one of the last steps from Batlow to remove plastic entirely from the company, with Mr Rositano noting the only other forms of packaging is the cardboard trays and cartons.
"The new punnet does not affect freshness. It's the same premium apples that were previously going into the plastic punnet, only just that it is not fully sealed now. But there are no issues with freshness whatsoever," he said.
"We are hoping that the apple industry as a whole gets behind this and really drives this positive change. We have found it to be a positive part of our business and we can sense that it will also be good for the industry as a whole."
Source: Fresh Plaza