How do you make plastic out of sugar cane?
In order to manufacture plastic, ethanol is required. Traditionally ethanol is derived from petrochemical sources, but the ethanol we use in our sugarcane tubes is derived from sugarcane. This means that the final type of plastic obtained is exactly the same type as we previously used to have, albeit from a natural source rather than a petrochemical one.
Is it biodegradable? Can you bury it? Can I put it in my food recycle bin? Is it compostible?
Sadly not but the sustainability is in the manufacturing. So it’s not biodegradable, but it is recyclable.
Simply trim the end and give it a clean out before placing it in your recycle bin (as dirty packaging often isn’t recycled). Et voila!
Why is it better?
It’s all about the carbon capture. Instead of using ethanol from fossil fuel petrochemicals which are not renewable and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we use it from renewable sugar cane grown in Brazil (thousands of kilometres from the Amazon rainforest), requiring little more than natural rainfall to grow.
Growing the sugar cane takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and is a bi-product of the sugar industry. For every 100 tonnes of sugarcane plastic used in Bulldog tubes, 309 tonnes of CO2 are taken out of the environment.
Sugar cane huh, can you eat it?
No and it doesn’t taste sugary so there would be no point in licking it either.
Can it be recycled like your previous bottles?
Our tubes are recyclable although, unfortunately, this does vary from council to council for reasons beyond our control.
Currently the tubes are labelled as “7 other”. This is because the body of the tube and the cap are made from slightly different types of plastic (PE and PP). PP and PE can be recycled together as they are part of the same overall plastic family (the polyolefins).
We are actively reviewing this “7 other” label to see how we could communicate this more clearly to our consumer in order to empower them to recycle more easily.
Why can’t the bottles be 100% sugar cane?
We currently use over 50% sugarcane plastic in our tubes, we’d love to make it 100% but it’s not “ridged” enough to use on the caps. It is a work in progress and we are always scouting out the latest packaging innovations, so watch this space.