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The short answer!
Bagasse is made from the fibrous waste from harvesting sugarcane plants. It has a cardboard-like feel to the touch and is leakproof, compostable, and recyclable. It often comes in white or natural brown colour.
How is bagasse made?
Bagasse is a by-product of making sugar, when sugarcane stalks are harvested, they are pressed to extract their juices, which then gets processed into sugar. This leaves behind a dry fibrous substance. Using a high heat and pressure process this material is then molded into various containers and tableware such as bowls and plates. The top 5 sugarcane producers are Brazil, India, Europe (such as France), China, and Thailand. The conditions within these countries make it perfect for sugarcane to grow. What's so great about the sugarcane plant is its complete versatility, not only does this plant product food containers but it can be used as a fuel source named biofuel which helps battle the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. Sugarcane is used as animal feed, which composts creating emissions such as ethanol, these gases are turned into biofuels which are used in transportation, power generation, heat energy or paper products (food containers).
Is Bagasse Compostable?
Being both Biodegradeable and Compostable, it's seen as the most environmentally friendly material currently used in the foodservice industry. Offering a great alternative to products like Polystyrene Containers.
Packaging made from it and tableware are stronger and better quality than most alternatives.
Has no impact on taste or aroma of food, unlike alternative packaging which has a distinct smell of their own which can affect how food tastes when eaten out of.
From start to finish It requires very little energy to produce so as well as being fully biodegradable its impact on our environment is minimal, making it an all-round environmentally friendly material and product.
What is Bagasse Suitable For?
Bagasse plates and other sugarcane bagasse food packaging are suitable for hot, wet and oily foods, it holds liquids very well and is naturally grease and cut resistant, It's also heat tolerant up to 95C and can even be put in the microwave or the freezer. (extremely hot food may cause sugarcane to lose some of its strength).
How sustainable are Bagasse food containers?
Being plant-based, bagasse becomes easily compostable. Starting from the time it's exposed to composting conditions (it will not start biodegrading in storage) it can take a few months to break down. However, the right conditions can disintegrate within a week, which makes these food containers even better, they do not require any special processes to recycle.