From the Earth Back into the Ground
Clean, sustainable products are the key to “going green” and promoting environmental friendliness. Using annually renewable resources such as bagasse (sugarcane), bamboo, and CPLA/PLA (corn based) to manufacture products helps reduce stress on the environment and results in a cleaner production process. So how does this work? What are annually renewable resources?
We use a lot of disposable products that can do great harm to the environment. Americans use approximately 2.5 billion Styrofoam cups each year, as well as 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his/her adult weight in garbage. The use of disposables that are not eco-friendly has a tremendous impact on our environment, with 1.5 acres of rainforest lost every second to land development and deforestation which in turn affects habitats and biodiversity. For more green facts, be sure to check out our Sustainability page to see why we are so committed to promoting sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
While materials such as Styrofoam are not recyclable, take up more space in landfills, and may release chemicals when wet, bagasse uses less water and energy during production than Styrofoam, paper, and recycled paper products. The bagasse manufacturing process also results in less CO2 emissions compared to Styrofoam and paper.
Bagasse is an annually renewable resource because sugarcane only takes one year to mature, while trees used to manufacture paper products can take up to 30 years to mature.
Bagasse is a byproduct of sugarcane plant stalks after the juice has been removed from the sugarcane. While this material may have once been thought of as waste, now it is used to create quality eco-friendly products! Once the plant stalks have been collected and the juice removed, bagasse is heat pressed into the shape of the product using a high-heat, high-pressure process. But the cycle does not end here! To help reduce waste, bagasse products are compostable and take approximately 3-6 months to decompose. Once new sugarcane stalks are grown, the process begins again making these products completely renewable!
Once the composting process is completed and products have been decomposed, they can turn into a fertilizer for the soil to promote new plant growth. We offer a wide range of bagasse products including plates, bowls, take-out containers, and hot cups.
Bamboo is considered an annually renewable resource because it is a grass, and does not need to be replanted after each harvest. Similar to all the products mentioned here, bamboo grows much faster than trees to ensure it is annually renewable.
Bamboo products are made from the part of the bamboo plant called the sheath. It is the protective outer layer of the bamboo’s culm that falls off once the plant has reached a certain point of maturity. The sheath naturally falls off and would be absorbed back into the earth if left naturally, ensuring this process is completely environmentally friendly. Once the sheaths have been collected, they are cleaned and boiled in a chemical-free process. After they are cleaned, they are laminated to achieve the right thickness for the product and are pressed and bonded into the desired shape. Plus, this whole process is completed without the use of bleaches, dyes, resins, or other chemicals!
Bamboo products can be disposed of with food waste and biodegrade over time. Be sure to check out our selection of bamboo plates, picks, chopsticks, stirrers, and forks.
PLA refers to polylactic acid which is a corn-based plastic material. CPLA is crystallized PLA that gives products a higher heat resistance. Corn plants can be regrown annually, and are grown using sustainable methods - like monitoring agricultural practices and making sure to avoid sourcing from potentially vulnerable land. Compared to manufacturing products made from materials such as polystyrene, Ingeo products produce 80% less greenhouse gases and use 52% less non-renewable energy during manufacturing.
Ingeo plastics (used to create our selection of PLA compostable cups for example) are manufactured from plants that capture CO2 from the air, such as corn. Once the plants have had the starch or sugar (glucose) extracted through a milling process, enzymes are used to change the glucose into dextrose. Once this has been completed, microorganisms - through the process of fermentation - turn dextrose into lactic acid. Next, the lactic acid molecules get transformed into rings of lactide. Through polymerization, the lactide rings are opened and start to form the long chains of polylactide polymer referred to as Ingeo. After Ingeo PLA is formed into pellets, it is then ready to be transformed into a variety of products!
During the composting process for Ingeo PLA products, they first undergo disintegration under moisture and heat. Then they go through biodegradation where microorganisms break down smaller polymer fragments and lactic acid resulting in CO2, water, and humus which is a nutrient for soil.
Don’t settle for traditional products, go green and choose EnviroTakeout today for sustainable, annually renewable, and quality options.