Growers of both wheat and rice face the same problem, what to do with leftover straw?
There are many solutions such as:
- Gathering leftovers for animal feed or bedding, neither of which is very profitable.
- Straw can be plowed under, but that is expensive.
- The straw can even be left in the field, but the leftover straw might hurt the next year’s crop with the threat of disease.
Entrepreneur Jaydeep Korde has taken on disposable packaging using leftover rice and wheat straw. Valueform is Korde’s next generation packaging company. Seven years in the making, Korde can turn any kind of cereal waste into packaging. Korde states in an article in The Telegraph, “Straw is annually renewable, which makes it a more sustainable raw material than paper.”
Many natural alternatives have to compete for raw materials with food producers and biofuel manufacturers. The decrease in newspaper sales worldwide has created a shortage of recycled paper products. Korde states, “Recycled paper has become an expensive commodity. Trendwise, that is only going one way.” Korde his created a new technology to be compatible with existing machinery to gain an advantage during the downtime at paper pulping factories. “We’re not talking about building shiny new factories, but converting existing ones to straw,” Korde says.
Not only will the use of rice and wheat straw be more sustainable and completely biodegradable it will also help eliminate pollutants. The most common practice to clear the land after harvest is burning. This is the most convenient, in-expensive, and quickest way to eliminate the leftovers. Many places are progressively prohibiting this practice because it is bad for the environment.
Did you know that oil can take up to 300 million years to form? Did you also know that plastic made from oil can take up to 100 years to degrade naturally? Well, according to Green Man Packaging, it can. Sustainable packaging can reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Packaging destined to the landfill could now be composted or recycled, lowering the environmental impact. Using biodegradable packaging such as rice and wheat straw can increase the number of environmentally aware consumers, building product loyalty as well.