New Earthcycle punnets for strawberries are on retail shelves in Australia, and available commercially in September. ( Courtesy CKF Inc. )

Strawberries in Australia are being sold in a new Earthcycle brand compostable and recyclable top-seal punnet.

Fresh Berry Co., an Australian grower-shipper chose the containers because of the environmental and sustainable attributes, according to a news release. Packaging company CKF Inc., Hansport, Novia Scotia, owns the Earthcycle brand. The strawberry packaging trial is at an un-named large Australian retailer.

The top-sealed punnets use 95% less plastic by weight than traditional PET clamshells, according to the release.

“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” John Pettinella, a Fresh Berry Co. co-founder, said in the release.

The Australian retail trial began in August, and the company is already reporting consumer support.

Earthcycle’s product also has punnets for blueberries and raspberries, and all three berry containers have the common PET footprint.

“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,” Brad Dennis, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release.

The punnets are commercially available this month.