Can bamboo be used for tissue and hygiene products?
Bamboo is a fast-growing grass with a woody stem. This plant can be used as a sustainably sourced and alternative material with many socioeconomic and environmental benefits, some of which include: restoration of degraded land, poverty alleviation, and contributions to the fight against global warming. Since this plant is so versatile, it is a great candidate for use in hygiene and tissue products.
As the impact of global warming continues to increase, there is now a higher demand than ever for alternatives to traditional tree-based fibres. Bamboo pulp has physical and chemical characteristics ideal for tissue and hygiene products. We’ve learned, however, that there are more ways to leverage this plant. As a result, there’s now an increased interest in expanding the bamboo sector within wood-based product industries.
Read on to learn more...
Bamboo is a renewable resource due to its distinctive properties. Bamboo generally grows in tropic and subtropic areas and has a woody stem, despite its classification as the fastest growing grass on the planet. Developing communities in these areas benefit from this plant, as it creates employment opportunities through access to sustainable goods and ecosystem services.
So, let’s start at the beginning. The current production of tissue pulp involves two different kinds of fibres: softwood and hardwood. Softwood is obtained from pine and strengthens paper. Hardwood is obtained from woody plants like birches, acacias, or eucalyptus, which yields softness and adds bulk to the finished product.
Unlike non-wood fibres like bagasse (aka sugarcane pulp) and kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), bamboo satisfies all the requirements for tensile and softness requirements for high-quality tissue and hygiene products. Furthermore, bamboo’s tissue components have similar technical properties to softwood paper grades, making it a leading replacement option.
Take a look at some characteristics of bamboo that authenticate it as an excellent alternative:
Bamboo has a shorter growth cycle than wood, which regenerates faster and can be harvested more often.
Bamboo contains 57% to 65% cellulose.
Harvesting and processing bamboo releases less CO2 into the atmosphere.
Its chemical composition facilitates Kraft's cooking process.
Benefits of tissue and hygiene products made with bamboo
Bamboo tissue and hygiene products have many benefits for consumers and for the environment. Bamboo tissue is odour resistant, antifungal, soft, and offers super absorbency. What makes bamboo naturally antibacterial is a substance called “bamboo kun” that prevents the growth of bacteria and microbes in bamboo products. Using tissue and hygiene products made with bamboo have shown superior benefits for skin compared to classical products. In other words, bamboo products are great for the skin
while simultaneously helping consumers to reduce their environmental footprint.
Click here for more benefits of bamboo in tissue and hygiene products.
Bamboo Bioproducts' role in the tissue and hygiene industry
Bamboo Bioproducts will be the first bamboo pulp mill in the Western Hemisphere. We will be the first bamboo global market pulp mill producing Bleached Bamboo Sustainable Kraft (BBSK) pulp, sold to multinational corporations serving the consumer tissue and personal hygiene industry. Our first pulp mill in Jamaica will use the best available state-of-the-art technology.
In April 2022, Bamboo Bioproducts planted our first bamboo test plots in Jamaica to find the best way to grow Bambusa Vulgaris sustainably and effectively. Discover more about it here. These plots will demonstrate that with the correct silvicultural* techniques, we can predict and control how the plant grows for the highest yield. Contributing to the health and infrastructure of local communities is a primary component of our mission. In each step of our process, we are following sustainable practices for the benefit of the local communities and the environment. At Bamboo Bioproducts, we are directly involved in efforts to create opportunities for communities to prosper through employment openings and supporting educational and public health projects.
Keep up with the latest from Bamboo Bioproducts by following our LinkedIn page here.
*Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society such as wildlife habitat, timber, water resources, restoration, and recreation on a sustainable basis.