Range of baggase packaging is available on shop.dillicpackaging.com

With environmental considerations becoming more and more important to a growing number of consumers, there is a need to find an eco-friendly packaging solution. This article will examine whether bagasse could be viable packaging alternative and if it is as environmentally friendly as it claims to be.

Sugar cane bagasse Source: www.qut.edu.au

Before we can talk about the potential usefulness of bagasse, we first need to explain what it is, as to many people this product is relatively unknown. Bagasse is made from the waste products left after sugar has been extracted from sugar cane. Studies estimate that globally around four million tonnes of bagasse are produced each year. Though this article will focus on bagasse as a packaging material, it should be noted that there are other uses for bagasse. In some countries it is used as a substitute for wood to produce materials like pulp and paper.

Now that we know a little about what bagasse is and how it is produced let’s look more closely at whether it would make an eco-friendly packaging material. We know that it is made from a renewable resource, sugar cane, and that without processing, the valuable bagasse could go to waste. Because sugar cane is grown seasonally each year, there will always be a constant supply of bagasse. Products made from bagasse are also much more cost-effective. If a bagasse mill is right next a sugar plant, bagasse can be extracted as the sugar cane is processed. This makes the production costs very low when compared to an alternative like paper. So, bagasse could be an effective alternative to other products on the market, but what types of materials can you make from it and how well will they function?

Range of baggase packaging is available on shop.dillicpackaging.com

The main function of bagasse as a packaging material is in making eco-friendly cutlery such as plates and bowls. Bagasse functions very well as these materials as it is microwave safe. Additionally, it can handle a wide array of temperature up to about 100 degrees Celsius. These products are already in use today and are gaining support. However, the biggest question of all is how eco-friendly is bagasse?

It can completely biodegrade in about a month and is compostable. It may biodegrade even faster if shredded prior to composting or exposed to water. This can be compared to a paper plate that studies show takes about five years to properly decompose. It is even more eco-friendly when compared to its main rival Styrofoam which doesn’t decompose and is a huge environmental problem.

However, having said that, if composting facilities are not readily available, these bagasse packaging will most likely end up disposed as general waste, incinerated and sent to the landfill.

There’s no doubt that bagasse packaging is a viable alternative to other products in the market. We believe that with the right infrastructure and support from governments, we can make bagasse a true eco-friendly packaging.


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Source: www.greenandgrowing.org

Let’s take a moment to compare the differences between disposable plastic and disposable paper cups. Though many people immediately assume that the paper cup is a more environmentally friendly option, this is not a clear-cut case.

There are obvious and commonly known downsides to using plastic.

Firstly, plastics take a very long time to degrade - up to 90 years depending on the type. Secondly, the production process itself is incredibly inefficient. Thirdly, plastics are made with non-renewable resources, and can have potential health risks. As plastics break down over time, tiny particles enter the ecosystem and in particular our waterways. They are then consumed by animals with sometimes fatal results. As humans at the top of the food chain, we also inevitably ingest whatever is being eaten by the creatures further down the chain. Though some plastics can be recycled, those numbered 3, 6 and 7 cannot.

Source: https://responsiblecafes.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/test/

We might imagine that disposable paper cups are an improvement on plastic when it comes to recycling. The reality of the situation, however, is quite different. The majority of paper cups are lined with a plastic lining to make them waterproof, meaning that they are not recyclable alongside normal paper products, nor are they biodegradable. In Asia, for example, only 10% of the recycling facilities have the capacity to separate out the lining of the cup, so they are simply being incinerated and sent on to landfill. Another aspect that most people are unaware of is that in order to adhere to hygiene requirement, the majority of paper cups are made with virgin paper. In other words, they are made from pure tree pulp and not recycled materials. From this perspective, the sustainable credential of the paper cup is pretty low.

In recent years, there has been much hype with paper cups lined with biodegradable plastic, which pretty much on the surface, would solve these problems. Let’s examine if this is really the “God-sent” solution for paper cups.

PLA or polylactic acid, a biodegradable type of plastic made from plant material, is a more recent development. It appears just like a conventional oil-based plastic, but breaks down at greater speed. PLA is also far from perfect, as it will only decompose in a commercial composting environment. Throw it in your home compost or on the landfill and you will be waiting a very long time for it to break down! PLA feels and looks convincingly like conventional plastic, so unfortunately a bird consuming an item made of PLA is just as likely to choke and die as with an ordinary plastic. As these PLA plastics are usually indicated as #7, it will hence, be disposed rather than recycled.

It is clear from all of the above that disposable paper cups simply do not prove to be a more eco-friendly alternative to the disposable plastic cup. The obvious solution is to turn to reusable options. Some establishments now offer discounts for those who bring their own cup, so if you can’t forego that extra cup of coffee when you are out and about, how about carrying your own cup with you? In the end both the environment and your wallet will benefit.

Saving the environment starts from YOU today.

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Source: National Geographic

Lots of animal activists and even the general public are upset because more and more animals such as turtles and whales wash ashore with plastic in their bellies. This is one of the reasons why they are turning to the eco-friendly products in the first place. The premise is interesting, you get to save the environment and reduce the amount of plastics used every day.

Plus, there are lots of eco-friendly options out there like using non-woven bags instead of the plastic ones, using paper straws instead of plastic, bagasse and wheat containers, PLA containers and paper cups lined with PLA instead of PE.

Source: Ecospearbd

What are Non-Woven Bags?

Recently more and more people started to use non-woven bags instead of plastic. What should you know about this material? It’s still plastic, but recyclable. It’s very easy to use and light, and at the same time, it’s very strong too. That means it’s a good replacement for regular plastic.

The reason why this is eco-friendly is that you can clean it with ease. It’s even machine washable, not to mention you can reuse the bag as many times as you want. That gives you more value, convenience, and control over the entire process.

Is this the ultimate plastic replacement?

Even if people start using non-woven bags and ditch plastic, that doesn’t mean this will be an eco-friendly solution. In fact, most of these bags will end up in landfills. That might seem ok mainly because the material is said to degrade in time, so in theory there shouldn’t be any kind of problem.

However, that’s only a theory. The fiber type used for the non-woven bag will determine if this is biodegradable or not. Some of these bags are biodegradable, but most of them aren’t. The reason is simple, they use polypropylene. This is not a recyclable product. So while you can reuse it and wash it from time to time, once you throw it to the landfill, this will end up damaging the environment. That’s a huge issue, because you will still damage the environment.

Once you throw these non-woven bags to the landfill, you are still damaging the environment instead of protecting it. Even if you believe that you’re getting an eco-friendly product, you are lying to yourself, and you’re not protecting the environment in any way if you use the non-woven bags.

Landfills are already expanding more and more, we run out of space, and we are continuing to reclaim land from the wilderness. This brings animals close to extinction, and it’s a huge problem that has to be solved as quickly as possible. Even if we believe this is a cure, sometimes this cure can be worse than the disease itself. This is why we have to be very careful with eco-friendly products.

Just because some of them deliver great results, that doesn’t mean all of them do that. Studying the fibers and understanding what exactly we are using will help us prevent any further damage to our planet. We need to find true eco-friendly replacements if we want to make a difference, otherwise all these actions will be in vain!

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