Thanks to consumer demand for everyday products that are good for the environment, more manufacturers than ever before have started utilizing bamboo as an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic. With all the different materials out there, though, why do they choose bamboo? Believe it or not, there are several reasons – and they’re nothing short of fascinating.
Bamboo is Sustainable
Bamboo is one of the most highly sustainable plants on the Earth today. Whereas a traditional tree can take 30 or more years to grow to its full size, bamboo can reach epic heights in just three to four months! Furthermore, there’s no need for harmful pesticides when growing or harvesting bamboo, which means it’s possible to grow bamboo virtually anywhere without fear of contaminating water tables with chemicals.
It’s Even Stronger than Steel!
This one might sound a bit absurd at first, but there are studies to back it up: bamboo really is stronger than steel. An article published in Interesting Engineering in January 2020 showed that bamboo’s tensile strength is approximately 28,000 pounds per square inch, and that’s measurably more than steel’s tensile strength of just 23,000 pounds per square inch. Furthermore, when compared to steel, bamboo weighs virtually nothing. This makes it easier (and cheaper) to transport, which is very good news for manufacturers.
It’s Naturally Antibacterial and Chemical-Free
Many of today’s products are made from chemical-laden plastic, which can spell trouble for the human body. We only recently learned of the dangers of BPA, a chemical that leaches into foods and beverages when stored in BPA-containing plastic containers and causes cancers and other illnesses. Bamboo, on the other hand, is naturally chemical-free, and because it requires no pesticides, it remains chemical-free. It’s also naturally antibacterial, which makes it an ideal replacement for plastic in numerous situations.
Bamboo Can be Made into Virtually Anything
Toothbrushes aren’t the only products that bamboo can be used for. In fact, manufacturers have successfully created coffee mugs, tableware, storage containers, paper, straws, and even wearable fabrics out of bamboo. In fact, there’s virtually nothing that bamboo can’t do, and it does it far more safely than other materials at the same time. Fun fact: some varieties of bamboo are edible, and some of the world’s most renowned chefs have incorporated it into award-winning dishes!
It’s All-Around Good for the Environment
You’ve already learned that bamboo grows quickly and requires no pesticides, but bamboo is a great option for the environment in other ways, too. Research has shown that bamboo produces 35% more oxygen than trees and absorbs more carbon dioxide per hectare, too. Bamboo’s unique root system is responsible for the plant’s regrowth; it simply regenerates itself as it is harvested. This means it can thrive in rocky and shallow soil – places where many trees and other crops would almost certainly fail. The plants do not need to be replanted each season, which is fantastic for soil conservation.
Manufacturers who want to do their part to help the environment and offer consumers products they can feel good about commonly rely on bamboo for creating virtually everything imaginable. Whether it’s a toothbrush, a t-shirt, or even a set of dinner plates, bamboo is flexible, versatile, and good for the environment in general.