Hundreds of different fibrous plants can be manufactured into alternatives to tree-based paper products, items like wheat, rice, hemp, flax, and sugar cane. In many agricultural realms, straw is treated merely as the agricultural waste that remains after grain or juice is removed from crops. Straw is a valuable resource that can be fashioned into disposable products like plates, take out containers, bowls etc.
Some of the Benefits of Wheat Straw Food Service Products Sturdy and strong Microwave and freezer safe Handle hot liquids up to 200 Fahrenheit Conform to US Food & Drug Administration guidelines Non-allergenic and gluten-free Fully compostable through home and commercial composting * Fully compostable at home within 6 months
Consumers have used various grasses and reeds to make paper for thousands of years. The very word paper derives from papyrus, a reed that was used by ancient Egyptians to make paper. The ancient Chinese developed methods for making paper from plant fibers, utilizing vast quantities of straw that are generated in a rice-based agricultural economy. Just during the last century have trees been the main source of fiber used in making paper worldwide. Tree-based paper has quickly expanded to dominate the worldwide market. Under 10% of paper worldwide currently derives from agricultural crops, the rest still comes from trees. However, tree-based paper is less used in developing countries.
Paper production that is derived from agricultural crop waste offers many important environmental and economic advantages over tree-based paper production.
Here are some of the advantages of making paper from agricultural waste:
Protecting our forests: It takes 5 tons of wood to produce 1 ton of pulp for paper and only 1.5 tons of straw are needed to produce the same amount. So very wood from virgin forests is consumed by the paper industry. A shift from wood-pulp to straw-pulp in producing paper will help take pressure off wild forests and the species that live in them.
Fewer toxic chemicals will be emitted: Agricultural crops are easier to turn into pulp than wood is, and consequently, they require smaller quantities of toxic solvents to turn them into pulp for paper-making. Renewable and sustainable: Agricultural waste like straw can make a side-trip from the cycle of life to serve as paper, then go back into the cycle as compost to nourish new crops.
Less energy needed to process: Heavy-duty industrial processes are used to turn wood into paper. A wood pulp mill costs 5 times as much as a straw pulp plant, and it uses 10 times the energy.
New revenue for our farmers: Directing agricultural waste into paper manufacturing provides another income stream for farmers, without impacting food production or increasing energy inputs, and without putting extra land into production.
Local paper manufacturing: Paper made from wood fiber utilizes larger manufacturing facilities than paper made from agricultural waste. Local economic independence is also improved with greater local control over manufacturing processes that impact local economies. And helps keep our local communities strong.
Plant-fiber food service products are often made from wheat straw. In the past, we relied more heavily on bagasse (sugar cane fiber that remains after juice is extracted), and we may shift to other plant inputs in the future, as the market for agricultural waste grows and changes. The wheat straw comes from the stalks of wheat plants. The stalks of wheat plants do not store protein, gluten, or allergens. These products meet FDA standards for food contact, and they meet FDA standards for gluten-free and non-allergenic.
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