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- What is Bagasse
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Bagasse it's a bit like paper, but without trees
Bagasse is a pretty amazing material as it actually comes from waste generated by the sugar industry, it has all the best properties of styrofoam but with none of the downsides, think of it as having all the good stuff you get from plastics but is sustainable, ethical and great for the planet, the term circular economy could almost of been invented for bagasse.
The production bit
Bagasse is a bit of an all rounder as it can be used for packaging and can be used as a bio fuel, so it's fibrous properties make it great for our products but also great for turning into bio fuels.
- It takes a year for sugarcane to grow to the right size for harvesting and the sugarcane is turned into a extremely sweet liquid and the waste bits are mixed with water to form a bagasse pulp, pretty much the same as paper.
- Compounds are added (don't worry it's perfectly harmless stuff but needed to help it to keep it's shape and strength) and then it is pressed into a shape using pressure at a high temperature.
- You are left with a container that is plant based, renewable circular, recyclable (if recycled properly) and it's microwaveable and safe at high and low temperatures.
We have created a nice picture to show you how this all works.
The environmental bit
Bagasse is as mentioned a plant based material which means its a natural solution to the un-natural problem of petrol based plastics , it's meets the following standards.
- EU & UK EN13432 certified as compostable.
- US ASTM D6400 certified as compostable.
- Australian AS5810 certified as compostable.
To meet these standards it must decompose with 30 to 90 days without leaving toxic contamination and turn into nutrient rich compost.
It comes from a naturally renewable and sustainable material and due to it's rapid growth rate, it grows much more rapidly than trees, so it's a great alternative to deforestation.
We probably don't need to tell you, but deforestation is a huge problem but to state the obvious, if you cut down trees, they can't absorb carbon, in fact wood production alone constitutes the loss of 380,000* hectares, which can be as much as 950000000** trees, that's a lot of carbon ( we tried to work it out but our calculator just didn't have enough digits.
The disposal bit
Most of our products are designed to be composted by a company like First Mile* that specialises in processing plant based materials but a number of our companies compost them at home and the times vary based on the health of your composter, we are conducting our own tests on how long it takes at home, but until the research is completed we can't recommend composting at home**, but as they are made from plants, there really isn't a reason not too, although legally we can't say you can.
The reality is, the only researched disposal method is a commercial waste collection but we often get asked “what happens if it ends up in the normal waste” , well the answer to this is simple(ish), depending on where you live, it will either go to a waste disposal site ( thankfully this is becoming less and less common) or a Energy for Waste facility (EFW) to make renewable and non toxic energy.
So it's still a winner, but commercial waste collection is always the best option as its completely circular and the compost created can be used to eliminate peat based compost, which is really really bad for the planet.
Here's a simply way of explaining the waste process.
The temperature bit
Each material has its own properties, so this should help you with information on it's temperature range.
* Unions of Concerned Scientists.
** The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare