We needed something that was better than plastic. Bamboo is brilliant because it composts and biodegrades, but we wanted to be sure we didn't create a new problem by increasing its popularity.
One of the best things about bamboo is how quickly it grows, an incredible 1 metre/3.5 feet in a day! Because it is technically a grass, it can also be cut down at ground level without killing the rhizome of the plant which remains underground, ready to fire up a new batch of shoots. This means that unlike softwood trees that grow for 20 years and are then cut down to a stump and then die, bamboo comes back over and over again, just like the grass on your lawn.
The extremely rapid growth rate (1000 times faster than oak) means that a limited amount of land is needed to grow a lot of material, making it more land efficient than traditional forestry. This means a smaller area of land needs to be dedicated to growing it than would be the case with softwood planting.
Does it need a lot of chemicals to grow?
Due to its high silica content bamboo is also very resistant to insect pests, meaning it doesn’t need to be sprayed with insecticides to grow well, which just has to be better for everyone! The natural resistance to pests also extends to bamboo’s natural anti-bacterial properties, which make it particularly suitable for cotton buds and toothbrushes.
Will the pandas go hungry?
No, the variety of bamboo used for our purposes is not one pandas like to eat. We also use bamboo grown in sustainable plantations, not harvested randomly from the wild! Don’t worry; we are very keen not to take food from the pandas!