When you hear ‘bamboo’, your first thought may be of the evergreen plant making up a panda’s daily diet. Or, you may consider how bamboo is a versatile material found across houses, clothing, furniture and home décor pieces. However, have you thought about its role in packaging?
In recent years, bamboo-based packaging has received greater recognition, especially as more businesses continue to seek eco-friendly materials to store their products.
You may ask yourself why, so let me explain…
Generally speaking, the harvesting of bamboo occurs in various parts of the world since it requires low maintenance. Did you know, that its tree grows at a rapid speed of 1 inch per 40 minutes? This means that you don’t have to worry about it running out since it is renewable and self-generates!
In turn, it makes it possible for manufacturers to locally source their bamboo, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
Once safely harvested, factories mechanically pulp the bamboo. During this process, the majority of the water content escapes and helps to further break down the plant’s fibers.
This process helps to avoid the exploitation or release of any toxic chemicals and has a low impact on the environment.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Bamboo is the superman of packaging materials and offers a wide variety of features. These include:
- is a malleable material which doesn’t fracture easily
- can hold heavy weights and withstand greater pressures and stress than wood, brick and concrete
- can endure temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius
- is biodegradable and compostable
In addition to these features, the material offers many printing benefits such as:
- little to zero colour fading
- colours and designs tend to be long-lasting, high quality and detailed
- achieves a unique and luxurious look
Moreover, bamboo is recognized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as a certified material that can compost at a rate comparable to other compostable materials. The certification also affirms that the resultant compost from the packaging’s degradation process is of high quality and able to support plant growth.
Although bamboo has many wonderful benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. If the harvesting of bamboo is done incorrectly, it can affect its durability and deteriorate faster.
It also suffers from slower growth or altogether stops growing during the colder temperatures of the year. This is why although bamboo is able to grow in most environments, the majority of it continues to grow in South America and China due to more favourable land, weather and soil conditions.
Good news though! There is ongoing research regarding how to use modern technology in order to enable favourable bamboo growth internationally.
Within the cosmetic and technology industry, many brands are already utilizing bamboo as an attractive and lightweight option for their packaging.
For example, ZAO Organic Makeup uses bamboo to package all of their product lines, resulting in a sophisticated and modern layout that has been a hit with their customers worldwide. They use a variety of colours to print on their bamboo lids and also multiple sizes for their boxes.
In addition to this, ZAO’s products are refillable, meaning that the packaging is reusable over a long period of time. Overall, the material is ideal when travelling as it can easily store and transport makeup products!
Likewise, the American multinational tech company, Dell, has also worked towards making their products as sustainable as possible.
Since 2009, Dell has implemented bamboo cushions in order to create lightweight trays for select Dell laptops.
Currently, Dell sources its raw bamboo from a forest that follows the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles and has received the ASTM D-6400 certification as well.
In turn, the company’s goal is to ensure their packaging is 100% compostable, protective and sustainable.
Why Should Your Business Use Bamboo-Based Packaging?
To summarize, bamboo is versatile as it can be spun into reusable bags or molded into rigid containers. It offers a wide variety of benefits, is compostable and is already in use across multiple industries.
Consequently, it will be advantageous for your business to implement bamboo-based packaging as well.
The type of packaging would be ideal for takeout, cosmetics, skincare, retail and consumer electronics. Achieve lower costs, sustainability and attract new customers!
Aside from bamboo, be sure to check out other popular alternative packaging options highlighted in our previous blog post.
Interested in finding out more? Contact us today for additional information! Don’t forget to comment below and look out for our next feature on corn-starch packaging!