OZblu launches 'ground-breaking' recycled paper cups for blueberries
International blueberry producer and exporter United Exports has launched recycled paper cups for its OZblu brand blueberries on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
Like many other island nations, Mauritius has been heavily affected by land and sea pollution from single-use plastics. In response, the government has taken strong measures to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills or its world-renowned marine environment. Non-biodegradable plastic bags have been banned since 2016.
This year, the Environment Protection Regulations 2020 (Control of Single Use Plastic Products) have come into effect, phasing in the prohibition of the importation, manufacture, possession, sale, supply and use of single-use plastics.
In support of the initiative, the United Export team has created sustainable packaging options to continue delivering its OZblu blueberries to consumers on the island.
Working closely with SKC Surat in Mauritius and Huhtamaki, a global packaging company with Nordic roots, United Exports has developed a recycled paper cup for its OZblu blueberries.
Although like all soft fruit, blueberries traditionally don’t do well in paper or pulp because it can negatively affect their shelf-life, United Exports says the OZblu genetics deliver bigger, crunchier and tastier blueberries with better shelf-life, meaning that the blueberries are the perfect match for this innovative packaging.
This blueberry packaging enables the company to reduce its use of plastic by 82% when using this format. The "ground-breaking" cup is fully compostable, not only meeting legislative requirements but opening the door to an environmentally sustainable packaging solution in the fresh produce sector, the company says.
“Sustainability is indelible to how we operate; it’s not a separate division but underpins and integrates with everything we do. It is so important to me, having been inspired years ago by my then six-year-old son asking if our blueberries were sustainable!" says United Exports and founder Roger Horak.