Believe it or not, this sugar cane fiber can be used to make a variety of paper products, and even food containers.
Let me ask you this: Does it make sense to bring home leftovers in a flimsy container that will ultimately end up in a landfill and stay there for hundreds of years? Why should the container outlast your leftover meal? It just does not make sense.
If you have recently been to MacGregors' Grill and Tap Room in Rochester, NY, you may have noticed that those abhorred Styrofoam boxes used for leftovers are gone. Instead of using the environmentalist's worst enemy to cart home leftovers, MacGregors' has switched over to 100 percent compostable containers that are made of sugar cane fiber. I was stunned when I saw the sandy-colored container on my table instead of the usual petroleum-based container. My food stayed fresh for several days, and when I finished eating my sandwich, I threw the container in my compost bin. If only all restaurants would use biodegradable products instead of Styrofoam! Think of all the garbage that would be removed from the daily waste stream in America!
I decided to research sugar cane fiber, and I found some interesting facts. The sugar cane fiber that is used to make products such as plates and containers is called Bagasse, which is the fibrous residue that remains after sugar cane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juices. For every 100 tons of sugar cane that are crushed, nearly 30 tons of Bagasse remain. The fiber can then be used to make food containers and paper products. Bagasse can also be used to power sugar mills. Check out this video to see how bagasse can supply energy to a sugar mill in India.
Change does take time, but the changes taking place in restaurants such as MacGregors' just goes to show that being environmentally friendly can be as easy as using compostable food containers. Be on the lookout for simple changes like this, because you might find yourself saving your food in an eco-friendly fashion.
Photo credit: Google images