In its quest for an eco-friendly packaging solution, Indian startup Yash Pakka is turning sugarcane agriwaste into a polystyrene alternative.
Sugarcane is the world’s most cultivated crop, and its byproduct, called bagasse, is usually left to decay or burned for biofuel. However, the startup says it saw potential for this fibrous material.
Yash Pakka’s innovation converts bagasse into sustainable packaging products like paper bags, moulded food trays, and flexible packaging. The company said these products are environmentally friendly and functional for perishable goods as they’re both moisture- and oxygen-resistant.
Aside from function, the startup’s bagasse-based packaging is also fully compostable. The items can be home-composted in under six months, which aligns with its goal of minimising waste while reducing energy consumption.
The company’s bagasse manufacturing process also yields agricultural pulp that can replace Styrofoam, create greaseproof paper and tissues, and serve as a growth medium for mushrooms.
In April, Yash Pakka signed an agreement with leading sugar companies in Guatemala to develop a packaging plant in the country that should be operational by mid-2025, opening the company up to the US market. It has also partnered with leading brands such as KFC, Air India, Google, and Baskin and Robbins.