Sugarcane is a fast growing, renewable resource. A grass found in tropical and subtropical countries such as India and Thailand, it is most commonly harvested for its sweet juice. It is then split into sugar and molasses, which are the valuable goods, and the leftover pulp is normally incinerated and discarded. Up until recently the pulp was treated as a waste product and the constant incineration added harmful greenhouse gases into the environment. But a positive change has taken place and people have begun to utilise the leftover pulp to produce many eco-friendly products.
Why Should You Use Sugarcane Pulp?
There is a rising awareness around the world about the need to use more environmentally friendly products and for people to play their part to help stop global warming. Sugarcane pulp is one of the answers!
Sugarcane pulp is a recycled material that uses leftover ‘waste’ fibres from the sugar industry. It is widely grown and very abundant. Most importantly these products can be described as highly sustainable, renewable and compostable, while at the same time being durable and high quality. The manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and at the end of the products life it will biodegrade into soil. The fibres will also break down if they accidently enter rivers or oceans, meaning that it does no harm to the environment.
What Are Some Popular Sugarcane Products?
Have you ever heard of, or bought a product made from sugarcane? Perhaps not yet! These products are not currently very mainstream, but they are becoming more accessible all the time as companies learn about the technology and the benefits that it has on the environment.
Here are some of the most popular uses for sugarcane pulp currently.
Disposable food containers
The production of disposable food containers is the most common use of sugarcane pulp. It is used to make takeaway meal containers, egg boxes, and single use plates, bowls and cups. They have a natural look and feel, but are strong and hold their form well. It is a great alternative to the usual signal use plastic that you find in most places. More and more companies are making the shift to sugarcane containers, and there are several properties which makes them appealing;
- They are heat resistant and can hold hot food up to 95 degree Celsius.
- They are microwave safe and can be used to reheat food.
- They are more durable and firmer than polystyrene containers due to the high fibre content.
- They are refrigerator safe and therefore can be used to store food until consumption.
- They have insulation properties that retain heat for a longer time compared to paper and plastic containers.
Sugar cane pulp is a great tree-free source of paper! The process to convert sugarcane pulp into paper was first established way back in 1937 and is still being used today. It makes high quality paper and bleach can be added to change the colour if required. This is a much more sustainable method than chopping down forests and contributing to global warming.
Another industry that is starting to use sugar cane to produce sustainable products are baby and children’s toy manufacturers. Check out the range of toys we have on our website made from residual sugar cane pulp. They are completely eco-friendly and don’t contain any harmful chemicals. Check out the brand, BiOBUDDI on Ecowaremarket for some fabulous sugarcane building sets!
You may not of heard of it, but sugarcane pulp is also used in clothes manufacturing! The sugarcane pulp is used to produce fine fibres which are soft and durable. The pulp is shredded, broken down with eco-friendly chemicals, and then when it is still in a liquid form, it is shot at very high pressure through tiny holes. It forms a long strand of fibre which is then solidified and spun into yarn. Since it is manufactured from a mixture of organic material and chemicals, it is considered as a semi-synthetic fibre. It is still early days for clothes manufacturers and further research is being done in order to use this resource more widely. I think the future could hold some exciting developments for the use of sugarcane in clothes.
Could Sugarcane Products be the Future?
Sugarcane products really are an ideal way to become more eco-friendly. This wonderful resource has so many great uses while at the same time looking after our planet. It is all about educating people, so spread the word and let your friends and family know that these products exist. The next time you see something made from sugarcane pulp you will understand just how good it is and hopefully that will encourage you to buy it. Sustainable choices are our future!