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The Cup Is Greener on the Other Side

Published October 8, 2008

by iris_author

I've been doing some research on eco-friendly alternative packaging/cutlery/cups etc. to replace the paper and styrofoam we use here at York. My attention was directed to Bhumi Products.
On their website, they state, "Bhumi products is a Canadian company dedicated to promoting environmentally friendly products."
Now this sounds like we're on the right track right? a LOCAL company that provides nice biodegrable and compostable products. this is all good and well until you find out what their products are made of.
"Bhumi Products are made from 100% sugar cane fibers, which is a natural by product of the sugar refining industry."
After hearing this, Tony Morris pointed out to me that sugar cane is not something that can be grown in Canada, and furthermore, sugar cane production has a high energy cost to produce.
It is important to keep in mind where the material comes from. Canadian company or not - sugar cane is not a local source. Additionally we need to pay attention to where the products are manufactured. I found the answer to that under their NEWSFLASH: "The Bhumi Products team will be on their way to visit our manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, China. Watch for our documentary film coming to the website soon."

So this "Canadian" company (which I guess means they have their head office here) manufactures a product that, although IS biodegradable and compostable, (and a step above what we're using right now) uses outsourced materials and facilities, leading us to wonder, is this really a sustainable practice?

Just because something says "Green" on it, or is biodegradable, doesn't mean it was created in an eco-friendly manner. Just as in life, it is important to look not only at what you see in front of you, but where it came from - how it came to be.

Posted in: Blogs | Shopping the Talk