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Could Bamboo be the most sustainable material on earth?

By April 27, 2022May 4th, 2022Blog

Recent discoveries around the ability for Bamboo rhizomes to store carbon for thousands of years have further elevated this miracle fibre to eco superstar status.

According to Paul Hawken, author of Regeneration, Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, Silica structures called phytoliths are abundant in the cells of bamboo plants and work to seal carbon inside themselves. The silica is highly resistant to degradation, so when bamboo trunks or leaves fall to the ground, the stored carbon continues to be sequestered, often for thousands of years, long after the bamboo itself has decomposed.

For the packaging sector bamboo is already an absolute game changer; it is a fast-growing grass that continues to grow after being harvested, with some varieties growing as fast as 70cm a day. Bamboo requires no irrigation, fertilisers or pesticides, and offers a sustainable income for local communities, preventing deforestation while sequestering large amounts of atmospheric carbon, storing up to 134 tons of carbon per acre over a sixty year period. Even after harvest and transition into other products the carbon will remain sequestered given the abundance of the phytoliths found in the plant’s cells that ‘lock’ the carbon away.*

Here at Caspak, we have introduced the Fibre MAP Tray as a replacement for plastic meat trays with remarkable success, pairing the bamboo fibre with a peelable PET film so that the two can be easily separated at the end of the product’s life into compost or recycling, and soft plastics respectively. The duo makes for a robust food safe packaging for meat, seafood and preprepared meals that can be easily integrated into the existing product line without extra tooling requirements. Clients such as Hagen’s Organic Butcher have reduced their plastic consumption by more than 80% from 20g per tray to just 4g, and the move has worked to further galvanise the butchery with its online customers, whilst ensuring the integrity of the meat is kept absolutely paramount throughout every step of the delivery journey.