Growers of both wheat and rice face the same problem, what to do with leftover straw?
It’s not often that farmers and packaging experts meet in the middle to solve each other’s problems. Growers and wheat and rice need to find a use for leftover straw, while commercial packagers struggle to find budget- and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging.
Often farmers use leftover straw for animal feed or bedding – but to a very small profit. Straw can be plowed under, but it’s an expensive solution. It could be left in the field, but then next year’s crop may face threats of disease from the previous year.
Newspaper distribution has declined and consequently available recycled paper has as well. Costs for recyclable materials have increased and are no longer cost effective for many products.
Meet entrepreneur Jaydeep Korde. Korde has taken on the challenge to create disposable packaging using leftover rice and wheat straw. His next generation packaging company is called Valueform. Seven years in the making, Korde can turn any kind of cereal waste into packaging. In a recent article in The Telegraph Korde states, “Straw is annually renewable, which makes it a more sustainable raw material than paper.”
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, but it will also help eliminate pollutants. Burning is the most common practice for clearing land after harvest. It is the most convenient, inexpensive, and quickest way to eliminate the leftovers. However, many places are progressively prohibiting this practice because it is bad for the environment. Using these leftovers for packaging could diminish harm to fields and local environmental areas.
As sustainable packaging has become a hot topic, it is interesting to see the different routes entrepreneurs and corporations are taking to eliminate waste and help the environment. Consumers are looking for these kinds of products and often remain loyal to brands that focus on environmentally conscious methods.