Greencane Ecopaper produce sustainable and environmentally friendly, plastic free toilet paper, kitchen towels, and tissues. They are made from the fibre waste from the sugarcane industry and they are packaged in home compostable paper and cellulose. So switching to Greencane is a perfect first step for a successful Plastic Free July!
We spoke to this pioneering, plastic-free company about their beginnings, their values, and their future plans.
How did Greencane begin?
We (Geoff and his wife Helen) first came up with the concept of Greencane Paper nearly 10 years ago after we came across a local forest being felled for pulp. This got us wondering why trees, which take up to 30 years to grow, are used to make such a low-value product like toilet paper. We were inspired to look into sustainable alternatives like bamboo and sugarcane which only take one year to grow. And Greencane was born!
“It’s frightening to see how much paper we consume and even more frightening to understand where it comes from; with deforestation posing an environmental threat and with regards to greenhouse gas emissions as well as a threat to animal and plant life. Cutting down on paper use is one thing, but when it comes to the practical uses of paper, it’s not always easy, particularly in the bathroom! Greencane paper has chosen to make a difference and spent years researching a more sustainable way in which to meet our huge paper needs without causing harm to our environment." – Geoff Arden, Founder.
So what is Sugarcane?
Sugarcane is a tropical grass grown commercially in over 200 countries. The current world supply of sugarcane is believed to be at a mature stage resulting in no additional demand for land expansion. When harvested, sugarcane is crushed to remove the sugar leaving behind a fibrous residue which can be recycled in a pulp suitable for paper making. The farming of sugarcane and bamboo has an extremely low impact requiring few inputs other than sun and water.
How do values impact Greencane's decision making?
Helen plays a big part in ensuring our values drive the choices that the business makes. She believes the role of Greencane Paper is to never preach at people about how they should be living but to offer an alternative that is better for them and the planet. Once this direction was established, it became easy to make quick decisions to push into new products and different types of packaging options.
Alongside the work Greencane does to produce plastic-free products, we support the UK based charity Coolearth. Coolearth have a global viewpoint, like Greencane and work alongside indigenous tribes to save their tribal forests.
Greencane is always pushing the boundaries of sustainability within our industry and have become the voice of a small company operating alongside many multinationals. We take this role seriously and want to show other businesses that it is possible to work in such an environmentally conscious way.
Greencane is made within the international quality framework of ISO14001 which looks after the raw material supply chain and additionally ensures the correct environmental manufacturing of our paper.
Greencane and Commonsense.
It means a lot for us to have this great relationship with Commonsense based on shared values and a motivation to look after our customers. The feedback we get from users of Greencane Paper is amazing and keeps us wanting to connect Greencane Paper with more and more users and stockists.
What’s next for Greencane?
We’re not big 3 year or 5 year planners! We really let our customers drive our business which is how we have ended up in over six countries with little planning. We simply follow the demand for a plastic free option. So each year always has an element of surprise for us! Looking to the future we see this as a global solution and option for sustainable paper and hope to expand to more countries and people.