Rice Straw – Waste to Packaging

Rice Straw – Waste to Packaging

Rice straw is a by-product of rice production. Globally, over 800 million tons of this straw is produced per year. With intensive rice farming models, farmers expect two to three crops per year. This quick turnaround is not conducive to the conditions required for the natural decomposition of rice straw.

To Burn Or Not To Burn

Traditionally, burning was a quick way to clear the land for the next crop. Burning is beneficial because it is cheap and easy. Also, it assists with the control of weeds, insects and diseases. Lastly, it can reduce nitrogen tie-up.

 

However, the disadvantages of this method are adverse effects on soil microbes and fauna, loss of nutrients, reduction in soil aggregate stability. As well as a long-term increase in soil acidity and an increase in erosion via water and wind. Furthermore, this practice of burning rice fields is a huge pollutant, emitting (NOx), methane and  particulates. Thus exacerbating respiratory problems in the local community.

field fire
Field fire. Image: David Maunsell | Unsplash

Disposal of rice by-products via burning causes enormous damage to visibility, respiration and the variety of local flora and fauna. This impact both the locals and the environment. Therefore, a viable alternative to burning rice straw is sought.

Potential solutions include: –

1. The production of biofuel.

2. Produce silage (cattle feed) via fermentation

3. Mechanical composting to speed up the decomposition process.

 

In Thailand, Jaruwan Khammuang is processing rice straw into a pulp.  The pulp’s exported to India, where the tableware and cutlery manufacturers convert the pulp into paper.  Lastly, this paper is converted into food packaging. In summary, these biodegradable packages are the product of rice by-products.

Feature Image:

Rice straw
Rice straw field. Image: 12019-David Mark | Pixabay

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Cooper

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours
    and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

    1. MW

      Hi Cooper,
      Sure, no problem, as long as you stick to the “fair use” doctrine and credit our website as your source.
      Please confirm your site also, so that we can check out your articles as well.
      Thanks
      MW

  2. Thani

    Hi can you please provide me India contact number who is importing Rice straw pulp from Thailand

    1. MW

      Hi Thani,
      Please contact Jaruwan Khammuang (CEO ที่ Fang Thai Factory) the entrepreneur in the video. You can find her profile on LinkedIn.
      Kind regards,
      MW

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