What Is a Punnet Container?

What Is a Punnet Container? (Explained with Helpful Tips)

When it comes to containers, there are many of them and they come in many shapes and sizes. You may have heard the word “punnet” in combination with container, but you do not actually know what kind of container is in question and how it is used. So, what is actually a punnet container?

A punnet is a small basket or container mainly used for transporting fruits and vegetables. Generally, punnets are used for transporting and storing food prone to bruising and squashing, such as cherry tomatoes and berries. They are usually made of plastic and come in a square or rectangular shape.

If you have been wondering what a punnet container is, you have come across the right article to find out the answer. Namely, this article is focused on punnets and their features, so you will learn everything about these containers. Carry on reading to discover how they are used in stores and in households!

What Is a Punnet Container and How Is It Used?

A punnet container is a small, light container, usually, for fruits and vegetables. This type of container is intended for storing and transporting fruit like berries, or similar food that is prone to bruising and squashing. Punnet containers are considered quite convenient because they come in different sizes, meaning they can store various amounts of food.

These containers are usually used for packing and storing the following types of food:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Fast food (for instance, french fries)
  • Takeaway food

You can usually see punnet containers in grocery stores or supermarkets because they are used to measure a particular amount of fruit or vegetables. In addition, they are usually made for a package of dozen eggs. Fast food restaurants also tend to use these containers to pack their food, as well as restaurants for takeaway.

Some of these punnet containers can be reused if they are made of solid plastic. For instance, if you have bought fruit, you can wash the container, and use it for storing some food in your home. You can use the punnet container for storing food in the fridge, freezer, or cupboard.

On the other hand, the regular punnet containers are difficult to recycle, and they absorb the smell. This means that you can reuse them several times, and then throw them away. In other words, they are not permanent containers, and they are not eco-friendly.

Nonetheless, you can use them when you want to take some food on the go, and then get rid of them. So, your carriage will be lighter on your way back. If you want to be considerate about the environment, you will have to find a recyclable bin to dispose of.

What Kind of Punnet Containers Are There?

Even though the most common types of punnet containers are made of plastic, nowadays, manufacturers are trying to be more responsible. That means that they produce punnet containers that are friendlier for the environment. Here are some of the types of punnet containers along with the sizes and shapes in which they can be found:

PlasticRectangular60mm x 40mm
PaperSquare60mm x 60mm
FibreCircle70mm x 40mm

Plastic Punnet Containers

Plastic punnet containers are usually the most common containers of this type. Fruit, vegetables, and eggs are often packed in them considering that they are made of solid plastic. However, generally, the plastic of which punnets are made is not recyclable, meaning that using these containers is not really considered a “green” action.

Although you may be able to reuse them once or twice after washing them, they will still need to be thrown away. Therefore, if you want to be responsible for the environment, it is better to avoid buying food in these containers.

Plastic punnet containers ordinarily come in a rectangular shape, with 60mm x 40mm dimensions. Nonetheless, they can often be found in a square shape as well. The shape depends on the amount of food that is packed inside because punnets are often used for food measuring.

Paper Punnet Containers

Paper punnet containers are the more eco-friendly alternative to plastic ones. They are the “greener” solution because they are made of solid board, meaning they are recyclable, hence the better option for the environment. In addition, they are solid and stable, and they are water-resistant.

These are usually intended for selling small types of fruit, such as berries. Moreover, they are convenient, especially if you want to eat your berries on the go. The paper punnets are also great because they can be directly cooled, meaning that after you buy them you can just put them in the fridge.

However, these containers are not reusable in any way. That is after you eat your fruit, the cardboard softens and absorbs the smell. That is why you need to throw them once you are done storing your fruit in them. However, make sure to recycle!

You can also see paper punnet containers used by fast-food restaurants for serving french fries or onion rings. The fast-food chains consider this the best option for serving because they are keeping the environment clean while serving food in solid containers.

Fibre Punnet Containers

Fibre punnet containers, also known as pulp paper containers, have become quite a popular option in today’s society. They are considered the sustainable choice in the industry because they are compostable, but still quite solid.

Punnet for tomatoes

It is a very convenient solution for manufacturers because they come in a variety of colors and sizes. They are great for storing and transporting food that is prone to squashing, such as berries. However, they are also very convenient for restaurants that offer takeaway food.

Since they are very light, they are easy to carry and they keep the food hot. Nonetheless, they are not reusable, so you cannot keep them to store anything later, but their biodegradable feature makes it up for the fact that they are not reusable.

Some fiber containers, such the Nutley’s containers, include lids and holes on the containers, which allow the food to breathe. This is a quite good feature when you store fresh fruits or vegetables.

Which Type of Punnet Should You Opt For?

If you are the one who is trying to store food at home or to go, then it is always recommended that you go for eco-friendly options. That means that you should opt for punnet containers that are made of recyclable paper or fibre. They are the best options when it comes to staying responsible for the planet.

In addition, the same refers to picking products in grocery stores or supermarkets. For instance, instead of choosing the berries stored in plastic, opt for those that are packed in recyclable punnet containers. However, the issue with this is that you do not always have the option to choose between types of containers in shops.

If you do not have the option to choose, i.e. if the supermarket only offers food in plastic containers, then try to make the most of the container later. This means that you can consider washing the punnet and reusing it at least once or twice. If you want to store something for a longer period of time, then you might want to store nuts in them since they do not stain the container.

On the other hand, the issue with plastic punnet containers is that they will lose their shape over time. That is why it is not possible to use them forever, but you can try recycling them at least.

Which Type of Punnet Should You Opt For?
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Which Punnet Containers Are Considered the Most Unfriendly to the Environment?

The obvious answer here is the plastic ones. However, you need to consider the fact that there is plastic that is recyclable as opposed to the one that cannot be recycled. The types of punnet containers that are usually not recyclable are the ones that look like tiny baskets.

These tiny baskets are made of solid plastic, and this type of plastic is not really recyclable. What is more, these tiny punnet baskets are heavier and more difficult to carry. In addition, they might also cause you a problem with storage space in your fridge since the plastic is quite firm.

Nowadays, not many manufacturers opt for this kind of punnet containers, so you might not see many containers made of solid plastic. However, some farmers who want to sell their fruit and vegetables aim to stay on budget when choosing storing containers. They often go for the obvious cheap option – the solid plastic basket punnet containers.


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