Compostable apple packaging helps snare award

Tasmanian apple grower Andrew Smith wins the E.E. Muir and Sons Community Stewardship Award

Horticulture
PACKED: Apple grower Andrew Smith, managing director, R&R Smith accepts the E. E. Muir and Sons Community Stewardship Award from Troy Muller, E. E. Muir and Sons regional manager - South-East Queensland. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

PACKED: Apple grower Andrew Smith, managing director, R&R Smith accepts the E. E. Muir and Sons Community Stewardship Award from Troy Muller, E. E. Muir and Sons regional manager - South-East Queensland. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

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The focus on sustainable packaging was highlighted with an industry award.

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A FULLY "home compostable" package for an apple-growing company's pre-packaged fruit has been applauded.

Fourth-generation apple grower and managing director of R&R Smith, Andrew Smith, received the E. E. Muir and Sons Community Stewardship Award at Hort Connections 2021 in Brisbane last month.

The pack, which originally consisted of a plastic punnet overwrapped with BOPP plastic film, has been replaced with a cardboard punnet overwrapped in a Bioplastic material.

The complete package will decompose in a domestic compost bin. The packs are available in the organic section of major supermarket stores.

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Former Ausveg chief executive officer James Whiteside said packaging was becoming an increasingly important consideration for consumers in making their food purchasing decisions.

"It is critical that the industry remains ahead of the pack to demonstrate the industry's credentials in environmental sustainability," Mr Whiteside said.

The award recognises an individual or business that is proactive in developing or implementing a system or program of safe storage and use of on-farm materials above and beyond industry standards, engages in local or national community events and initiatives to develop wider industry and demonstrates the responsible planning and management of resources, leading to beneficial environmental impacts.

"R&R Smith has shown tremendous industry leadership in its development of its compostable packaging," Mr Whiteside said.

"The uptake of Bioplastic materials will have a significant impact on the use of soft plastics in the produce industry, as it can be adapted for use in almost all of the current plastic applications."

"There was a number of high calibre nominees for this category, and I congratulate Andrew for winning this prestigious award."

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