Today we are going to talk about bagasse plates made from sugarcane as a natural alternative to plastic.
As the fresh produce industry becomes more sustainable, growers and retailers are looking for alternatives to plastic packaging. It's not easy, as fresh produce has a lot of demands on its packaging. It has to be strong to protect the product, it has to be moisture resistant and able to withstand the rigors of the cold chain, and finally it has to have a good appearance to attract consumers.
The vast majority of Pando's products are used in the food service industry, but they have introduced a line of sugar cane pulp (also known as bagasse trays) to serve the fresh produce industry.
We have developed a range of trays based on close consultation with growers and packers. Right now, it's really growing at a high rate and is one of our fastest growing divisions. There are many reasons, every supermarket in Australia (probably around the world) has achievable SDGs and legal changes. Market forces are also at play, but the biggest market force is the attitude of consumers, who are now looking for more sustainable options than ever before.
Bagasse trays are made from sugarcane pulp (also known as bagasse). Cane pulp is derived from sugar cane, which is a by-product of the sugar industry, so they are using the waste and making new sustainable products out of it.
The pulp of sugar cane is pressed with steam under high pressure, so its surface is very tight and moisture-proof, it can be used in cold and normal temperature environment, it can be frozen, oven heated and microwaved. Trays can be shrink-wrapped and flow-wrapped, or heat-sealed, which means less plastic is used to seal.
Bagasse is a natural alternative to plastic and our pallets are certified compostable to Australian and European standards. The incremental cost is negligible and can actually be seen as an added value now. We hear from many growers using this method in supermarkets. Said that not only did I get a great product, but the packaging was great too.
For details, please consult: bagasse packaging manufacturers.