Why biodegradable products

Why biodegradable products

The use of biodegradable ecological products is now a fact! – Why biodegradable products?!

With environmental protection becoming more imperative than ever and legislation requiring the use of biodegradable packaging products, we have made sure to provide you with the best products on the market.

Biodegradable sugarcane utensils

Sugarcane is a 100% biodegradable and compostable material, environmentally friendly, and decomposes in a short time.

The sugarcane plant, after the pressure it receives to produce the syrup, produces a lot of fiber. These fibers, instead of being thrown away or burned, causing additional pollution to the environment, are washed and sterilized at specific temperatures, giving us the raw material to create eco-friendly disposable products.

Eco-friendly disposable products

An ecological single-use product must be characterized by a short decomposition time and designed in a way that does not alter the taste of the food, while preserving all its valuable components.

Eco Care’s biodegradable disposables have all the strengths and certifications you need to provide you with a better lifestyle.

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Still wondering why biodegradable products?

Biodegradable sugarcane products withstand 45°C in hot oil and 45°C in hot water. They are suitable for freezing at -18°C, while they withstand a microwave oven up to 100°C for 2′. They can safely accommodate liquids and oils, as they are waterproof, fully resistant and suitable for food.

#thinkeco 🌿

“The Conscientious Citizen’s Handbook”

☇ 3+1 reasons to include biodegradable products in your daily life:

1. Reduce plastic

Take an active part in reducing plastics in roads, landfills and seas.

2. European levels

Help keep the profile of our country at European levels. After all, tourists now demand the use of ecological products.

3. Practical tools

We have good news. For all of you who hate washing dishes/glasses, sugarcane biodegradable disposables are the perfect solution.

and the list goes on and on…

Change habits and improve your everyday life!

γιατί βιοδιασπώμενα

How many years does it take for the plastic to decompose

It has happened to all of us in a summer swim to find a fishing line tangled in the rocks. What we do not know is that the fishing line will be there – or in the ecosystem in general – for another… 600 years , until it disintegrates. Similarly, a bottle takes 500 years to dissolve, a lighter 100, a plastic bag 55, a cigarette butt up to 5 years.

Interesting facts are brought to light by Greenpeace , as part of a campaign to reduce plastics that end up in our seas. The organization is collecting signatures so that the Deputy Minister of Environment can take a dynamic stance in the forthcoming formulation of the European action plan for the circular economy. And at the same time it informs the citizens about the consequences on the ecosystem and on our health from the dumping of plastics in the sea.

“Disposable plastic objects, although used for a few minutes, remain in the environment for decades, even hundreds or even thousands of years. The way we utilize this precious resource is a huge blow to both our economy and our natural environment. “A radical revision of our consumer habits is needed, but also of the political decisions needed to create an economy where the value of products and materials will be maintained within the economy for as long as possible,” he told the daily Kathimerini. Alkis Kafetzis, head of the campaign for the marine environment at the Greek office of Greenpeace.

According to the organization, 1,455 tons of plastic float in the Mediterranean , while plastic debris has been found along all the lengths and breadths of the seabed, from the sea surface to its greatest depths. and along its entire coastline. In Greece, from 180,000 to 300,000 tons of plastic packaging produced annually (total annual demand for plastic is estimated at close to 500,000 tons), only a small percentage of this quantity is recycled inadequacy of the waste management system and the absence of an institutional framework that discourages the production and demand for disposable plastic.

Single-use plastic products.

EU action on plastic products

The EU rules on single-use plastics, approved in May 2019, refer to the 10 singe-use plastic items and fishing gear lost or abandoned which most frequently pollute the Europan beaches and waters. These wastes represent 70 % of wastes in the seas.

STOP single-use plastic products

The rules prohibit singe-use plastic items for which there is a non-plastic alternative. Other measures aim at reducing the consumption of plastics which most often go to landfills; extending the liability of manufacturers; changing the design of certain products; informing and raising customer awareness.

Ban on single-use plastic products

Starting 2021 single-use plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers and balloon sticks, as well as plastic food and beverages containers, including expanded polystyrene plastic glasses will be prohibited. These items will have to be manufactured from sustainable materials or replaced by alternative recyclable products. All items made of oxo-degradable plastics will also be banned.

sustainable tableware

What exactly is Bagasse?

Bagasse is the name for the residual fibers that remain after the squeezing of sugarcanes at the sugar production. Usually, they consist of 40 – 60% cellulose, 20 – 30% hemicellulose, and about 20% lignin. Bagasse is primarily found in countries that produce a particularly high amount of sugar, for instance Brazil, Vietnam, China or Thailand. Even though bagasse is a so-called by-product, many people see it as a waste product because in the past, bagasse was mainly used as a fuel for the production plants. Even today, a part of the bagasse is still used for the factories’ ovens. But since humans have started to recycle materials, bagasse’s value was also increased. Nowadays, it is used for the production of building materials, packaging materials, and disposable tableware. The paper industry has also started to replace wood fibers with sugarcane fibers to produce napkins, toilet paper and cardboards.

From sugarcanes to sustainable tableware

Sugarcanes (Saccharum officinarum) belong to the family of sweet grasses and grow in tropic and subtropical climate zones. The plants are 3 to 5 meters in height and their stem has a diameter of 2 – 4,5cm. Here, we can also find what makes the plant so special: the sugar (mainly sucrose). Sugarcanes do not only owe their name to the sugar but also their publicity and popularity throughout the world. They are the most important raw-material supplier for the production of (retail) sugar. For this purpose, the sugarcanes are harvested, collected, and squeezed in order to produce sucrose or sugarcane juice. 100 tons of sugarcanes generate about 10 tons of sugar and 34 tons of valuable bagasse.

Instead of burning this “waste product”, our manufacturers increase the material’s value and produce eco-friendly disposable products. In the following, we explain the necessary steps to convert bagasse into sustainable products.

Production steps of bagasse products:

The residual sugarcane fibers are stored wet in order to remove short fibers and residual sugar because they may hinder the further processing.

The bagasse is blended with water until the compounds have developed into a pulp.

Biodegradable bleachers are added. In this step, it is also possible to add further additives. But since we want to have a product that is as natural as possible, our manufacturers forgo this step!

The pulp is poured into a form and pressed into the desired shape by the aid of high temperatures and pressure.

Ready to go! The bagasse plates, bowls, and containers are ready for transport and shipping and cannot wait for their application in your company.

Sustainability: From nature and back to nature

Sugarcane is a very fast renewable resource for which no trees have to be cut down. As a by-product of the sugar production, bagasse does not require additional cultivation areas and has no impact on the area of forests. On the contrary: It is actually a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional paper production because the bagasse paper production wastes much less energy than the wood paper production.

After their usage, products that are made of sugarcane end up in the trash bin, sometimes eve in open nature. But thanks to their biodegradability (certified according to US ASTM), the products decompose relatively fast and turn into soil. This soil may be used as breeding ground or fertilizer for new plants and the cycle is closed.

Since already mentioned, bagasse is not only used to produce tableware. The factories often use it as fuel. However, this process is significantly more environmentally friendly than the incineration of fossil fuel because the incineration of fossil fuels does not only release CO2 but also hazardous substances such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

Special characteristics of bagasse products

• Very stable, sturdy and not very flexible

• Good thermal property: suitable for temperatures from -25°C to 220°C;

• Water repellent and grease-proof: also suitable for hot and very oily/greasy dishes

• Completely biodegradable & compostable

Many restaurants have replaced their plastic and styrofoam packaging, partly even their disposable tableware, with eco-friendly bagasse products. By choosing bagasse packaging and tableware, you also engage in the reduction of disposable plastic packaging. If you are interested in this particular material, then feel free to take a look at our products.

What are biodegradable products

What are biodegradable products

New materials have been created recently to fight plastic pollution, trying to reduce the time required for their decomposition, mainly in the natural environment. – What are biodegradable products?

Definition of biodegradable materials

Biodegradable materials are those that may be degraded under microbial activity and used by microbes as food within a reasonable period of time. The time required for decomposition depends entirely on the type of material, environment conditions, such as temperature and humidity, and place of decomposition, according to the Biodegradable Products Institute.

Biodegradable raw materials

Polylactide Acid – PLA

PLA is a polymer produced from renewable sources. Unlike other raw materials based on oil, maize stark, tapioca roots or sugar cane are among the raw materials used to produce PLA.

PLA has a low melting point; therefore it is proper for cold use, up to about 40ºC. If more heat resistance is required, such as for cutlery, coffee of soup lids, its crystallized form is used. The crystallized form is known as CPLA. The result is a product thermally stable at 70 ºC

Sugar cane

It is created out of sugar cane wastes. The material is used mainly for plates, glasses and boxes for food delivery.  It is highly resistant, can be used in the microwaves oven, in the over, as well as in the freezer. In the microwaves oven these products resist usually up 3 minutes at 800 watt. In the freezer, it can be also kept at temperatures of -25 °C.

FSC paper, wood and cardboard

FSC or Forest Stewardship Council is an organization surveying the forestry and production processes to ensure sustainable production of wood or wooden products, such as paper and cardboard. FSC certification verifies whether:

  1. The collected wood is replaced or left to regenerate naturally. 
  2. Parts of the forest are entirely protected, as to support biodiversity of animal and plant life. 
  3. FSC protects the rights of indigenous people, which includes area protection. 
  4. FSC forests have to use local workers, in line with the employment policies accepted at world level. 
  5. All the wood is cut from the forest for storage. 
  6. FSC has also been approved by WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust. 

The wood cutlery, paper glasses and paper packages, which are 100% biodegradable and compostable, must have such a certification.