Each year roughly 1.87 billion tonnes of sugarcane is produced each year globally. During the juice extraction process the residual plant material bagasse is left behind. For every ton of cane sugar produced = 10 dry tons of bagasse.
That’s a lot of waste left behind. Fortunately, the bagasse can be processed to extract sugars which are then fermented to produce bio-based polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE). These bio-based plastics have performance characteristics similar to traditional petroleum-based plastics.
Bagasse is also commonly used for molded fiber applications that can be both composted and recycled.