Bagasse Paper Products – A Viable Alternative
Since the beginning of the paper production industry, trees have been destroyed in vast quantities over the years in order to make pulp for paper. The treatment of trees, which supply us with oxygen, is downright dreadful. Because of things like flooding, erosion of soil, high levels of pollution, and others, many are working hard to find viable alternatives for paper production in mills as well as the production of energy and the demands being placed on the infrastructure.
Bagasse is emerging as a viable substitute for wood. What is bagasse? When sugarcane stalks are crushed in the juice extraction process, a fibrous matter called bagasse remains. Agave bagasse is similar and is made up of the blue agave tissue that remains after the sap is extracted.
The sugar industry produces almost 3 tons of bagasse for every 10 tons of crushed sugarcane. Each country produces a different amount of bagasse based on their sugarcane production. The world’s largest sugar cane industries—in countries like Brazil, China, and India—can benefit from bagasse because the amount of waste products makes it a viable alternative.
In 2010, the worldwide sugarcane harvest—in 90 countries—was 1.69 billion tons in 2010, according to FAO, which equates to approximately 23.8 million hectares. Because of the amount of sugarcane production, its byproduct is a viable option for earth-friendly paper products as well as energy production. In the past, bagasse was just burned because it was considered to be waste, which can cause harmful air pollution. But today it is used in many industries as a wood alternative.