These days, many restaurants and other businesses along with their consumers are looking to go green and make a positive impact on the planet. Bagasse food containers are a solution for the restaurant world and using them is a great way to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint. Throughout the pandemic and into today, getting takeout has played a large role in our lives. With each takeout order, we often get our food in a plastic or Styrofoam container. Restaurant supplies like Styrofoam can’t be reused and won’t degrade, and even though some plastic can be recycled, it still takes a lot of energy to be produced. There are lots of great benefits and advantages of bagasse material that make a positive impact on the environment.
What is bagasse?
Bagasse is a byproduct of manufacturing sugarcane. The juices that are released from the sugarcane are processed into sugar, leaving behind a pulpy, fibrous residue. The fibrous pulp can be made into a paper-like substance called bagasse. Because it’s similar to paper, sugarcane bagasse products can be molded into different shapes and products, such as plates, trays, and takeout containers.
What are some benefits of using bagasse containers?
Bagasse is environmentally sustainable and renewable: Repurposing bagasse into containers decreases pollution since leftover material is typically burned. Because bagasse is a byproduct, it doesn’t require any additional land energy to grow and doesn’t increase deforestation. While it can take many years for trees to grow, sugarcane grows in six months, making it more practical to use bagasse compared to regular paper. Additionally, bagasse products require much less energy to manufacture than plastic products, making it more energy efficient to produce.
Bagasse is also biodegradable and compostable: More traditional takeout containers are made out of Styrofoam or plastic. Styrofoam never degrades, and plastics can take up to 400 years to degrade which is not good for the environment. When composted properly, bagasse can completely degrade within 90 days and takes up less room in landfills. Bagasse then turns into nutrient-rich compost that can be used to grow more sugarcane and other plants or crops.
It’s easily available and efficient: Sugarcane is harvested every season, so there’s plenty of bagasse to go around. Because sugarcane is harvested quickly, it means it’s less susceptible to supply shortages, making products made out of bagasse more reliable. On top of that, ten tons of bagasse can be produced by about three tons of sugarcane, compared to the five tons of woods needed to produce only one ton of regular paper.
It has insulation properties: Bagasse containers can retain heat from 0 to 200°F, making it effective for both hot and cold items. They can be put in the freezer, refrigerator, and into the microwave which makes them versatile. That being said, bagasse can lose some of its strength when holding food that’s hotter than 200°F.
Go Green with Bagasse Containers
Bagasse has so many great benefits and using them can help your restaurant positively impact the environment while helping to fit your business’ needs. Instead of buying the traditional takeout containers, this durable and lightweight material can change the rate at which paper, plastic, or Styrofoam products are made. This practice can not only improve your business’ carbon footprint, but the carbon footprint of everyone who uses them.
BioGreenChoice. Bagasse FAQ. (https://www.biogreenchoice.com/blogs/blog/bagasse-faq) Accessed October 13, 2022.
Ecocane. What is Sugarcane Bagasse? (https://www.eccocane.org/why-sugarcane-bagasse) Accessed October 13, 2022.
ECOProducts. Bagasse/Sugarcane. (https://www.ecoproducts.com/bagasse-sugarcane-faq.html) Accessed October 13, 2022.
Verive. Factsheet: What is bagasse, and why do we use it for food packaging? (https://verive.eu/en/articles/factsheet-bagasse) Accessed October 13, 2022.