Bagasse, or sugarcane pulp, is a waste product of sugarcane harvesting. The fibrous material is left behind after the juice of the sugarcane plant has been crushed out, and is usually disposed of. However, today we can use it as a renewable resource for producing paper products and as a fuel for factories.
Heat turns bagasse from a waste product to a sturdy packaging item. Although bagasse has multiple purposes, a specific method produces its compostable packaging products. After sugarcane harvesting, the leftover bagasse is kept wet and then blended with water to form a pulp. Additives combined with the pulp give it its unique qualities, and then high temperature moulds it into the shape of the packaging product. The result is a sturdy, microwavable, compostable food packaging product made from plant-based, renewable resources.
Bagasse is more environmentally friendly than paper. Bagasse is biodegradable, and in a commercial composting facility will break down within 30-90 days. Although many paper-based products can also be composted, bagasse does not have the same environmental impact as tree-based paper. In fact, bagasse is not only an alternative to plastic, but an alternative to paper as well. Timber production is a major source of deforestation, and deforestation accounts for about 10% of total yearly emissions. While BioPak does source any paper they use from sustainably managed plantations, they always love being able to return to their more environmentally friendly bagasse.
A circular economy, through widespread compostable products, is the way of the future. Unlike plastic or polystyrene products, bagasse products are commercially and home compostable. Under the composting conditions, bagasse will break down into a nutrient-rich compost that can be used as fertiliser or soil conditioner.
Planet Friendly Packaging acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19. Stay safe.