Have you ever heard of bagasse? It’s sometimes referred to as sugarcane pulp and it’s gaining popularity as a more sustainable alternative to plastic foodservice packaging.
You might have noticed that large supermarket brands and quick service restaurant chains are replacing some of their plastic foodservice packaging with a different kind of packaging that looks like cardboard.
Foodservice packaging represents a huge opportunity to move away from conventional plastic packaging and towards a circular economy model and close the loop on waste by producing packaging from plants that can be composted and returned to Earth as soil food which can be used to grow more plants. Compost also helps improve soil quality and retain water which in turn makes the land more drought resilient.
What is bagasse?
Bagasse is the fibre that remains after the juice has been extracted from the sugar cane plant – bagasse is an abundant agricultural byproduct with more than 54 million tons produced each year. (source).
Put simply: it’s a plant fibre and will decompose naturally in the environment.
Sugarcane pulp packaging is extremely versatile, inexpensive, and degrades rapidly when composted at home or an industrial compost facility. It is ovenable up to 200°C.
Why we love bagasse
Bagasse has a lower carbon footprint
Bagasse is made from sugarcane waste. During the growth of the sugar cane, atmospheric carbon is captured by the plant and converted to biomasse.
Bagasse is recyclable with cardboard
BioPak’s sugarcane packaging is suitable for recycling along with cardboard (as long as it’s clean and no food residue remains).
Sugarcane is a rapidly renewable and widely available resource. In 2017, about 1.8 billion tonnes of sugarcane was harvested worldwide. While 30 percent of the crop yields sugar products, accounting for 95 percent of the revenue, the other two-thirds left after harvest has little economic value and is largely treated as waste. Utilising bagasse for packaging further maximises the value of the crop and aligns with the principles of a circular economy. (source)
Our bagasse packaging is certified home compostable and industrially compostable to European Standards (EF T51-800). It will biodegrade in 30-90 days in composting conditions leaving behind no toxic residue and creating nutrient-rich compost instead. This makes it a perfect packaging solution for foodservice as the packaging and any remaining food can go straight into the compost bin and be diverted from landfill.
Packaging that puts the planet first
At BioPak, we’re committed to zero waste, climate positive foodservice packaging. Our packaging solutions are made from rapidly renewable, sustainably sourced materials – like bagasse.