Bagasse, a previously useless waste product from sugar cane, is being used to make biodegradeable packaging for food products in Thailand. The new "bagasse boxes" are made out of agricultural sugar waste, and so decompose after use, claims its Thai manufacturer, the Biodegradeable Packaging for Environment company. The packaging can be used instead of traditional plastic-based packaging and are safe for human health along with being environmentally friendly. The packaging uses breakthrough technology in developing a binder substance that forces bagasse pulp particles to join together. The resulting substance is both heat-proof and water-proof, and has passed US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) standards.
With governments now concerned that Asia's rapid economic growth is leading to disastrous environmental harm, alternatives to plastic packaging are constantly being sought by food companies. Over the past five years packaging suppliers have been introducing various forms of biodegradable plastics made from a variety of plants, in the main corn, as a clean alternative to petroleum-based plastics.