Ah bagasse. It’s a super sweet, super sustainable material from start to finish. That’s why we can’t bypass making plates, bowls and clamshells out of bagasse.
Bagasse is a by-product, meaning it comes from the waste of making something else. In bagasse’s case, it’s made from the waste products of sugar production, and more specifically, sugarcane. The word bagasse actually means something along the lines of “refuse,” “rubbish,” or “trash.” Sweet, sweet trash!
Sugarcane is the world’s largest agricultural crop, making bagasse an abundant resource. Brazil and other sugar growing countries like Vietnam, India, China, and Thailand are the main sources of this amazing ‘trash’.
After the sugarcane is crushed for its sweet juices, a magically supple and malleable plant matter is left behind. This is a sort of dry, pulpy, fibrous residue. That’s bagasse. And it’s a lot of bagasse. Around 100 tons of sugarcane makes about 10 tons of sugar, and 34 tons of bagasse.
Then after all of that, we get our hands on the bagasse and use heat and water to mould it into super good looking, practical, food packaging.
A few more reasons we would never bag out bagasse:
You feel good
The whole process around making bagasse makes you feel good about using it. A huge plus for using bagasse over plastic for food containers is the drastically smaller amount of energy it takes to manufacture bagasse. Sugarcane bagasse products are way more energy efficient to make when you compare them to pulping wood for paper, or making polystyrene and plastic from oil. Sugarcane’s time to harvest is about a year, whereas a tree grown for paper or cardboard can take more than 30 years to grow. As it’s a plant, sugarcane helps the environment out while grows with its lovely photosynthesis. Pretty much the opposite of petrochemicals and plastic, which are made from a finite resource drilled from the ground, which also release pollutants into the air when they’re made.
Bagasse looks, feels, and works good
Bagasse not only feels nice, it’s also reliable and sturdy. It can take the heat as well, handling temperatures from -25°C to 220°C. So, you can put this stuff in the freezer, microwave or oven if you like. Bagasse is not only gluten free but also water repellent and grease-proof, so you can use it for whatever hot or cold, oily or saucy dishes you like.
The earth feels good too
Only heat and water are used in making these sweet bagasse goods, meaning bagasse is not only highly sustainable, it’s free from any toxins and able to be easily composted after use.
Bagasse packaging breaks down at the same rate as other plant waste, which all depends on the conditions of the compost (temperature, moisture etc). Our packaging is certified to breakdown in 12 weeks in a commercial composting facility.
There you have a few of the reasons why you can feel good about using bagasse packaging. And, why we feel so good bragging about bagasse.
Feel free to check out our bagasse anytime!
By Erin Brown