About Wheat Straw

Wheat is a grain used the world over to make bread, flour, pasta, and many other tasty foods.  Wheat straw is what's left over after the grain has been harvested.  Recently, it's been used in plastic production.  It's an ideal renewable resource and is a "cradle-to-grave" product--the wheat straw is made into plastic, which can then be composted, and used to raise more food crops.

Wheat straw plastic is created by breaking down the cellulose wheat straw contains, creating polymers. Polymers are large bonds formed by loose monomers that are strong and are used as building blocks to create a substance. Natural polymers are also found in our bodies, like our nails and hair.  Most plastic is made from artificial polymers, but polymers created from wheat straw are fully natural.

Wheat straw contains lignin, which gives the stalk of the wheat structure--it’s like the thick trunk of a tree but made for a smaller plant. Combined with an acidic bacteria, lignin can break down easily without the intervention of man-made products. This, in itself, is better for the environment. When the lignin has been broken down and combined with sugar, it is a plastic-like substance that is moulded into forms like our lunch boxes and cutlery.

Wheat straw plastic is entirely biodegradable. In your home compost, it takes 3 to 6 months to fully compost, but using a city program, that time period can be lowered to 1 or 2 months. It’s renewable and sustainable. Since these plastic products are completely natural, they can be decomposed and used as fertilizer. They can also be melted back into pulp to create different products again and again.

It requires less energy to produce wheat straw plastic. The production of regular plastic uses a lot of energy and releases a lot of CO2 gases. Wheat straws require less energy because they are natural and do not need as much processing to become pulp. Added to this, they require fewer toxins, such as oil, because their natural fibres make the material sturdy enough already.

Wheat straw plastic also provides a profitable source for agricultural farmers since they can sell their waste products for a reasonable price. It also cuts down on the need for disposal, which is traditionally accomplished through burning the waste, contributing to air pollution. 

Information in this article came from these websites--you should check them out!



If you grab a cup of coffee from the drive-thru on your way to work every day, you are throwing away about 250 disposable cups per day.  Average takeout cup weighs 18 grams, which means you could be creating 4.5 kg of waste per year.  That's 10 pounds per year!

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