The environmental advantages of wheat straw products over their conventional counterparts are measurable and significant.

Wheat Straw Products

World Centric® uses agricultural waste as the source material for a wide variety of products, including plates, trays, and take-out containers. Conventional versions of these products are made from tree-based paper or Styrofoam. World Centric® maintains an ongoing investment in research and development of new ways to make new products from different agricultural wastes, including sugar cane, banana plants, and wheat straw. Currently, wheat straw is the primary source of agricultural fiber for our products. Consider the tables below to compare the environmental impacts of products made from wheat straw versus tree-based paper versus Styrofoam.

 

Wheat-Straw Products vs. Styrofoam Products

Imagine that your family used about 15 disposable plates every week (800 per year).

By choosing disposable plates made from wheat straw instead of disposable plates made from Styrofoam, you would be choosing to:
• Prevent approximately 9.8 pounds of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, similar to the amount of CO2 that 1.3 trees would absorb in a year; 1-5
• Save approximately of 132 kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to power a house for 4.5 days.1-7

Comparing Eco-profiles of Wheat-Straw Products1-3 with Eco-profiles of Tree-based1-3 and Styrofoam Products3


Manufacturing production materials from raw materials:
Comparative ratios of wheat-straw, tree-based, and Styrofoam production materials
  Wheat-straw Tree-based(virgin-wood coated paper) EPS (polystyrene / Styrofoam)
Energy consumption ratio = 1.0 : 8.4 : 17.1
Water consumption ratio = 1.0 : 0.7 : 1.5
CO2 emissions ratio = 1.0 : 2.1 : 3.6
Solid waste production ratio = N/A : 12.1 : 1.0 N/A

Manufacturing production materials from raw materials: Direct measurements of manufacturing one pound of wheat-straw, tree-based, and Styrofoam materials
  Wheat-straw Tree-based (virgin-wood coated paper) EPS (polystyrene / Styrofoam)
Energy consumption (kwh) 0.66 5.56 11.28
Water consumption (gal) 13.33 9.86 20.54
CO2 emissions (lb) 0.69 1.48 2.51
Solid waste (lb) n/a 1.37 0.113

Manufacturing products from wheat-straw, tree-based, and Styrofoam production materials: Comparative ratios among products made from different materials
  Wheat-straw Tree-based (virgin-wood coated paper) EPS (Styrofoam) – thermoforming
Energy consumption ratio = 1 : 2.3 : 5.8
CO2 Emissions ratio = 1 : 0.8 : 1.4

Manufacturing products from wheat-straw, tree-based, and Styrofoam materials: Direct measurements of manufacturing one pound of products from each material
  Wheat-straw Tree-based (virgin-wood coated paper) EPS (Styrofoam) – thermoforming
Energy consumption (kwh) 2.06 4.83 11.95
CO2 emissions (lb) 2.02 1.66 2.92

Page Notes

  1. Benchmarking Energy Use in Canadian Pulp and Paper Mills, Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada, http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/industrial/technical-info/benchmarking/pulp-paper/results.cfm?attr=24, retrieved 8/27/12.
  2. Paper Calculator, Environmental Paper Network, http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagid=25042, retrieved 8/27/12.
  3. What’s Your Process Energy Fingerprint? Robin Kent, Plastics Technology, http://www.ptonline.com/articles/whats-your-process-energy-fingerprint, March 2009.
  4. Urban Forestry: Carbon Sequestration Workbook, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/excel/urbfor05.xls, 2005.
  5. • Assuming 800 plates per year (approximately 15 per week);
    • 28.42 pounds of wheat straw plates per year (16 g per plate)
    • 15.99 pounds of Styrofoam plates per year (9 g per plate);
    • 2.71 lb of CO2 emitted per 1.0 pound of wheat straw plates (0.69 lb from material production + 2.02 lb from product production);
    • 5.43 lb of CO2 emitted per 1.0 pound of Styrofoam plates (2.51 lb from material production + 2.92 lb from product production);
    • 9.78 lb less CO2 in a year from 800 wheat straw plates than from 800 Styrofoam plates ((28.42 lb x 2.71)-(15.99lb-5.43));
    • 1.33 trees would absorb 9.78 lb of CO2 in a year, assuming an average of 7.38 lb of CO2 absorbed per tree per year.
  6. U.S. Household Electricity Report, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/reps/enduse/er01_us.html, July 14, 2005.
  7. • Assuming 800 plates per year (approximately 15 per week);
    • 0.073 kWh of energy to produce each wheat straw plate;
    • 0.237 kWh of energy to produce each Styrofoam plate;
    • 58.4 kWh of energy consumed to produce 800 wheat straw plates;
    • 189.6 kWh of energy consumed to produce 800 Styrofoam plates;
    • 131.2 KWh less energy consumed in producing 800 wheat straw plates than 800 Styrofoam plates;
    • 4.49 days for an average household to consume the same amount of energy, assuming consumption at 29.19 KWh per day.
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