Bamboo products are now everywhere because bamboo is a sustainable material. It also offers range, aesthetics and durability, which is why it’s one of the go-to products for construction, domestic uses, among many others.
Some of us don’t know some products are made from bamboo because they’re just as strong as other building materials. For instance, flooring can be made with bamboo products. They’ll serve you for a long time too, and they require little maintenance.
Your fabrics, bicycles, bedsheets, door and window blinds, and even instruments are made from bamboo.
But again, despite the longevity, they offer you, they typically last about eight to ten years. So, of course, they can last longer, but you’ll still have to replace them. Now, can you recycle bamboo? Please, read on to find out. Enjoy!
Can Bamboo be Recycled?
Recycling is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of household and commercial waste. It helps us get a couple of more uses out of those materials and keeps our landfills as unoccupied as possible. That’s why it’s only materials that can’t be recycled that end up in landfills.
Additionally, it also protects the environment. For instance, during the deterioration of some materials, they exude harmful toxins. They also leave behind some particles that could be harmful to the environment.
So, when you recycle, you prevent all these from happening. It also makes room for uniformity of waste disposal.
Now, is bamboo one of those materials that we can recycle?
Well, you can recycle bamboo products, but there’s a limit. Natural bamboo can be recycled – it can be used to produce a variety of other products. But of course, it must be free from chemicals and artificial materials.
On the other hand, some manufactured bamboo products can also be recycled. But again, you have to ensure that no chemicals or artificial materials have been added.
Where can you find bamboo products with chemicals? They’re present in flooring, bamboo fences, and even some furniture. Bamboo is a type of grass, although it has the rigidity of wood from trees.
However, even then, it’s still susceptible to insect infestation. So, some manufacturers treat their manufactured bamboo products with insecticides to repel insects.
Some chemicals or artificial materials are also added during the manufacturing process to give the bamboo products an additional glow or aesthetic finish. But, of course, these are also things we can do ourselves – spray our bamboo fences with insecticides, paint them, among many others.
So, we certainly can’t recycle bamboo products like these.
Moreover, if you have bamboo products that are entirely free from added chemicals and artificial materials, you can recycle them at your local recycling center. But of course, it’s best first to find out if there are provisions for these materials.
If there aren’t, you can always use a recycling locator to find out construction or otherwise companies that accept bamboo products for recycling.
Is Bamboo Compostable?
Composting is a straightforward way to dispose of your waste. You can have a compost pile in your backyard or choose to dispose of your compostable waste in your community’s compost pile – most regions make provisions for these.
It’s a way to turn your organic household waste into fertilizer for the soil and plants. As such, the materials that go in a compost bin have to be biodegradable.
Now, the most common materials we compost are kitchen waste like vegetable matter, eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds, among many others. However, food waste like dairy products, meat and fish, and baked goods shouldn’t go in your compost pile.
Since you know the basics of composting, can you compost bamboo products?
Again, it depends on how contaminated it is. You can’t compost bamboo products that have chemicals in them. You’ll be feeding the compost materials to your soil and plant, and when chemicals are present in them, they can be harmful to your plants and the soil.
So, be sure to check the brand of bamboo material you want to compost. You’ll also have to prepare the items before composting them. Cut them into smaller pieces if it’ll accelerate the decomposition process. You also have to ensure that there’s adequate aeration, moisture and heat to hasten the biodegradation.
Is Bamboo Biodegradable?
Biodegradable products are better for the environment. They break down pretty easily and serve as food for microorganisms. In addition, during the decomposition process, they replenish our soil supply.
Some materials are biodegradable, but they will take a long time to decompose. In addition, they will pollute the atmosphere and soil during and after decomposition.
However, bamboo and its products aren’t like that. There are over 1,500 different species of bamboo, and they’re all biodegradable. As we mentioned earlier, bamboo isn’t even a tree; it’s a plant. Plants are far more biodegradable than trees.
So, the length of time bamboo and its products require for biodegradation can range from weeks to years– it depends on what has been added to the product.
Bamboo is highly starchy, which makes it a feast for mold, termites, and fungi. That’s why most bamboo furniture, fences and other building materials need to be treated to prevent the influx of these organisms.
Bamboo also lacks the components that delay biodegradation. So, if it’s exposed to adequate temperatures, rain, sunlight, and direct contact with the soil, the biodegradation process will be pretty fast.
However, to hasten it, you may need to cut the bamboo products into smaller pieces. That way, microorganisms will find it easier to break them down.
Benefits of Bamboo Products
Bamboo is fast becoming an alternative to plastic use – it’s better for the environment, more sustainable, among many other features we’ll delve into fully in this section. So, if you’re still in doubt about the endearing features of bamboo products, then please, read on.
1. Better than Plastic
Plastic is a harmful material to both the environment and living things. For instance, did you know that during decomposition, plastic releases toxic gases into the atmosphere?
Even when it finally decomposes, it produces microplastics. These are plastic remnants that can be pretty harmful and can now be found almost everywhere. They’re present in water, sometimes food, and of course, in the soil.
Scientists recently found a rock that appears to be made entirely of plastic. That’s how bad plastic is.
So, bamboo is a much preferable option. Manufacturers can also use it to make a range of products, an excellent plastic replacement. Its production process isn’t also harmful to the environment, and when bamboo decomposes, it does far more good than harm.
Bamboo products are durable. The life expectancy of bamboo can be as long as fifty years when it’s properly maintained.
So, we have a large supply of bamboo products, and durability equally takes away the need to worry about depleting that supply.
3. Sufficient Supply
There are more than 1,500 species of bamboo in the world today. Bamboo is also very easy to cultivate, so we have a sufficient supply of it.
Despite our large consumption of it, its ability to grow fast replenishes our supply.
4. Doesn’t Need Chemicals for Cultivation
Growing bamboo is relatively easy – it needs no chemicals or fertilizers to produce a healthy outcome. So, farmers don’t need organic or inorganic fertilizer, which means the soil also benefits from bamboo cultivation.
Less consumption of chemicals in fertilizers and for warding off bugs and pests also means less emission of greenhouse gases. Of course, this ultimately means we have a healthier environment.
5. Consumes Less Water
Did you know that even though we have large bodies of water on earth, we can still run out of our consumable water supply? That’s why water is being rationed in civilization. So you pay for water because it can be depleted.
However, growing bamboo requires less water because it’s a self-sufficient plant. Therefore, it doesn’t require a lot to grow healthily.
6. Better for the Environment
Overall, bamboo is better for the environment. When producing bamboo items, we don’t need excessive chemicals, long production processes, or excessive energy consumption.
Bamboo is also easy to dispose of – it’s biodegradable. Alternatively, you can recycle some bamboo products. Lastly, it’s compostable.
How do You Dispose of Bamboo Products?
Since bamboo is one of the preferable alternatives to plastic, you likely have a couple of household and office items made from it. Bamboo has a long lifespan, but it can’t last forever. Frequent use, weather factors, among many others, can get the best of it.
So, how can you dispose of your bamboo products?
Recycling is a sure-fire way to dispose of bamboo products. However, you can’t recycle all of them. For example, if yours has ever been treated or exposed to chemicals, you can’t recycle it.
Aside from that, you can recycle bamboo plates, spoons, furniture, to name a few. To get started, reach out to your recycling center to find out if they accept bamboo products. If they don’t, you can try to find a recycling company online. If that’s also futile, you can consult the other options we have for you.
You can also reuse your bamboo products. If you’re ready to condemn it because you’re tired of seeing the same old product, you can spruce it up.
If your bamboo plate has broken, you can see if an adhesive will fix the problem. On the other hand, if you’re tired of seeing your bamboo fence or furniture, you can repaint it.
Upcycling occurs when you completely or significantly alter the appearance of a product and find another use for it. So, you can upcycle your bamboo products and use them or other things.
For instance, if you have a bamboo bowl you don’t like anymore, you can turn it into a planter that you can place in your home or garden.
There are so many donating options – you can give your friends and family, or even organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other charity.
5. Sell Them
If the reason you’re looking to get rid of your bamboo items is that you’re tired of them and want an upgrade, there are many places you can sell them. You can choose an online or offline store.
Some of your online options are Amazon, eBay, Etsy, among many others. Alternatively, you may sell them at a thrift store. The idea is that you make some money while also freeing up space in your home.
Bamboo products are now everywhere! That’s all thanks to the range it offers, its durability, and of course, sustainability too.
However, although your bamboo products will serve you well and for a long time, you can’t hold on to them forever. So, if the time has come for you to do the needful and dispose of them, this blog post will guide you through the process.