Let’s Talk About Bagasse

Let’s Talk About Bagasse

Posted on: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 in: Compostable
By: Natasha Naik

 

For thousands of years sugar has been a staple in our diets. Years ago sugar was considered such a delicacy, that it was literally worth its weight in gold and people would trade gold and other precious substances to get some of it.

Fast forward to today, sugar is still an important part of our cuisine and we rely on it to sweeten our cup of joe in the morning and to add a little sweetness after meals. We all know sugar is derived from sugarcane, but what happens to the cane after the sugar is extracted?

The by-product of sugar cane is called bagasse. Its growing in popularity all over the world as an alternative to paper, animal feed and more recently, foam trays. How does it work?

Sugarcane thrives in warm climates, as a result Brazil and India are the world’s leading producers of these magic, versatile stalks. Ten tonnes of sugarcane will yield about 3 tonnes of bagasse, which can then be used to make 100% compostable products, such as paper or plates. In South America, about 20% of paper products are made from bagasse.

The very production of bagasse is more environmentally friendly than its styrofoam or even recycled paper counter part – requiring less water and less energy. The fibrous nature of bagasse make it easy to mold into just about any shape or size container one might need.

Though bagasse has a variety of great properties, one of the best may be the fact that it is 100% compostable, not just recyclable. This means any product made from bagasse will, in a matter of weeks, break down completely and can be used as fertilizer to grow something new. Not many other foam alternatives can boast of this ability.

bioplanet sugarcane product-lifecycle

As the world is continuously shifting to become more environmentally conscious, it is certain that we will be seeing more bagasse products in our day to day life and more ways to conserve nonrenewable resources. Click here to see some products already being used.

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