The Evolution Of Sugar Cane-Based Polythene

Based on its price effectiveness, carbohydrates were quickly found to be a competitive feedstock for the chemical industry. When consideration is given for their carbon content, carbohydrates have always compared favourably to petrochemicals.

The rise in demand for bio-based products led Brazilian sugar cane to be viewed as a very competitive feedstock for a broad range of bio-based products. With improved technology, polythene produced from sugar cane is now carbon neutral and has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

In addition to the carbon neutral environmental impact of bio-based sugar cane polythene, the feedstock ranks as one of the most cost-effective raw materials. In Brazil, waste from sugar cane is being re-used as an energy source for facilities that manufacture sugar cane based polythene.

This is especially important for plastics manufacturers who strive to overcome environmental concerns and to remain profitable. Despite the world’s reliance upon plastics, plastic manufacturers are under constant pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing sites and products. Sugar cane is the newest and most environmentally favourable feedstock and will surely lead to new processes and technologies for the plastics industry.

Download the DEFRA report on the environmental impacts of oxo-degradable plastics across their life cycle.


As experimentation with bio-based products unveiled, limited extractions were purified and used. One of the appealing aspects of sugar cane is its availability; there is an abundant supply that can meet global demand. Just as coal based chemistry dominated prior to World War II and petro-based chemistry took over after World War II, plastics manufacturers believe sugar cane will be the next driver of the industry.

In Brazil and other South American nations, sugar factories are transitioning to the production of sugar cane. Cuba is also one of the leading sugar cane manufacturers in the word and is a major exporter of the raw material. The drive behind the use of bio-based products is society’s view of finite natural resources and the impact of carbon emissions upon climate change. Oil-based plastics have been determined to be a leading cause of high carbon emissions.


Rather than being oxy-degradable, our new Polyair material is bio-based. Polyair is made from sugar cane, and it’s the process of photosynthesis as the plant grows that makes this product carbon neutral.

Our exclusive Polyair material can be chosen as an alternative to regular polythene, offering your company the opportunity to improve your green credentials, meet legislative requirements and deliver improved environmental solutions.

Polyair can be used across our full product range of bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps and stretch film, giving you a significantly greener, environmentally friendly option. Consumer converting to bio-based plastic products can recognise significant savings in addition to improving their carbon footprint.

Contact our helpful sales personnel to find out how you can benefit from switching to Polyair, based on your current product specifications.

Among all the established carbohydrate sources, sugar cane is currently the top rate performer for three reasons:

  1. Sugar cane has an extremely efficient biochemical photosynthesis.
  2. Sugar cane is available all year round.
  3. Sucrose, sugar cane’s soluble carbohydrate, is essentially ready to use, greatly reducing manufacturing costs.

Call us now to find out how Polythene UK can help you on 01993 220079*

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