Ecolutions Aqueous Coated Bamboo Cups

Aqueous Coated Cups – The Solution to a Plastic-Free Cafe

Let’s face it, we’ve all bought coffee to go at some point in our lives. Whether its for us, our boss or so you can use the cafe’s bathroom. More often than not, that cup of coffee is packaged in a paper type cup masquerading as “paper = eco-friendly”.

It’s the worst kept secret that these “paper” packaging – while seemingly harmless – are lined with a polyethylene plastic (PE) coating to give it its waterproofing capabilities. And with that, the paper has been contaminated and unfortunately deemed as another single-use plastic.

And yes, there are other newer paper cups claiming to be eco-friendly as well, and these are most likely lined with poly lactic acid or PLA – which is a corn based bio-plastic. 

What’s the issue with PLA coated Cups

For some time, PLA-coated cups seems to be the answer to the paper packaging problem.

PLA is a bio-plastic made from corn. It is plant based and it does seem to be biodegradable and compostable. However, the issue is how to compost it successfully to be able to say that PLA is the best option for coating.

To be able to compost PLA items successfully, a special industrial composting facility will need to subject the items to an industrial heat of 60° C or above. Suffice it to say, we currently do not have such facilities here in the Philippines.

How about leaving it in your home compost? Its possible, but it’ll still take years (not months as they claim) to decompose and unfortunately, home composters are few and far between for now.

Enter Aqueous Coating

What is aqueous coating then? 

“Aqueous” pronounced as /ey-kwi-yows/ is a water based coating that’s been widely used in the printing industry for some time now. With newer research and development on a food-safe version of this coating, the food packaging industry has now started to adapt this technology and its proving to be the best alternative to PE or PLA coating.

As the name suggests, aqueous coating is a type of coating that is water-based and it contains no plastic whatsoever (bio or otherwise). It can give the same waterproofing and oil-proofing effect to any paper as PE or PLA coating does, but again, without the plastic.

Products with aqueous coating breaks down cleanly like any other unlined paper and wont need any special facility or treatment in order to truly decompose (unlike PLA or corn based bioplastic). They can also be thrown out in the paper recycling bin, and recyclers will be able to re-pulp these items with no danger of contaminating the pulp.

In the worst case scenario of people being lazy and careless and somehow products ending up in the ocean, these aqueous coated items can still break down at the same rate as any old newspaper.

Ecolutions Aqueous Bamboo Cups

Our new line of Aqueous products are:

  • 100% Plastic Free and PLA-Free lining
  • Bamboo Paper – Which means no trees harmed
  • Backyard compostable and clean biodegration (no micro plastics)
  • Recyclable & Re-pulpable (impossible with conventional paper cups)
  • Available in 8oz, 12oz and 16oz size
  • Achieve 100% plastic-free when paired with our sugarcane lids

We understand that cafe and restaurant owners will decide what packaging to use based on the options that are available to them as well as the price, and so we’re very proud to offer a newer and better alternative to paper packaging that is effective and truly 100% plastic free

We live in a time where being eco-friendly can be achieved and effective alternatives are available – we’d love to help your business transition and make the switch to a more sustainable packaging option.

Switching to any eco-friendly packaging can help significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic trash that’s ending up in our landfill, oceans and environment.

When you’re ready, you may contact us for availability, or place your order HERE.

Start with switching to our aqueous coated cups today! 🌿🌏


Wonderful World of Sugarcane Bagasse

What is Sugarcane Bagasse?

Sugarcane is a staple crop in many countries, the Philippines included. Traditionally, sugarcane crops are planted and harvested in an annual basis, and are brought to mills to be extracted and processed into different kinds of sugar products. The crops are then regrown which saves the soil from being eroded and saves a lot of resources.

Bagasse is the pulpy material that is left after the sugarcane has been processed and squeezed out of its juice. You can probably see these in markets where local vendors sell fresh sugarcane juice. In the past, sugarcane mills and factories would burn these pulp or bagasse because there are just so much of them all at once and they wouldn’t know what to do with them. Burning these bagasse produces CO2 and other harmful gasses that further pollutes our environment.

Fast forward to today, where clever scientists and engineers have found ways to re-use all these “trash” and make them into something useful to help us live a little bit more conveniently in our day to day lives.

Bagasse vs Paper

Ok, so what’s the big deal anyway. Bagasse is basically like paper, right? Well, technically yes but with big differences which makes bagasse a much more sustainable option to paper. The key difference is that sugarcane is an annual crop, which means it only takes 1 year to grow compared to trees which can take up to 20 years to mature. 

Bagasse is also an agricultural by-product that is being re-used to make new products, as opposed to trees which are cut down and harvested for the purpose of making new products.

It normally takes about 5kg worth of wood to produce 1kg of pulp, whereas only 1.5kg of bagasse to make 1kg of pulp. 

All these and more make sugarcane bagasse a far superior material in terms of sustainability and eco-friendliness vs paper.

So Why Do We Use Bagasse

Well apart from everything we just mentioned above, what we love about our sugarcane bagasse products are that they are 100% plastic free, and no trace of plastic or wax can be found in any of our product.

Paper has been long used in the food and beverage industry but unfortunately most of these paper products are lined with PE or polyethylene – which is a type of plastic. 

Our bagasse containers are different in that it does not need any additional lining in order for it to be grease or water resistant. Its natural composition and the manufacturing process creates a natural barrier which enable them to be resistant to oil and moisture.

This makes our products 100% compostable and biodegradable, leaving no trace of chemicals or plastic particles into the earth as it breaks down.

We are very conscious about our choices for our products’ impact on the environment – from the time it is manufactured to the end of its life after it has been disposed

This diagram shows the circular life cycle of the sugarcane bagasse, and its very important for us to consider these things, as we believe that just saying our products are eco-friendly is not enough, we also have to consider the way its made and end of its life and how we can continuously sustain this process so as to really present a viable solution to the plastic waste problem.

By using a material that would have been thrown out or burned, the goal is to to even out our carbon footprint eventually achieving a carbon negative state and have a positive impact on the environment.