Many years ago, there were some dog plates I bought that looks like a plastic dish. They feel like plastic, but when I got home and observed it further, they were actually molded bamboo.
It begs the question of how can a wooden material such as a bamboo be created in such a way that it looks like plastic? And how do they differ from one another?
Molded Plastic vs. Molded Bamboo
Different polymers made up a single plastic that is great and efficient for molding. In reality, many merchandises are present in our homes made of molded plastic. An example of this would be the speakers that I have in my home. This is just an example of the many molded plastics that we all have in our houses.
As such, there are tons of items made of molded plastic in your homes. Wares such as spoons, Tupperware merchandises, basins, and containers for your seasoning are made of molded plastic. The industry currently uses eight molding techniques with each one beginning with heating plastic fragments to a relatively high degree of temperature so that they would turn into a liquid-like substance.
The same could be said with molding bamboos that could function with powder from bamboo or any other tree-based particles. The wood particles then liquefy the moment it’s heated like the plastic fragments as mentioned above.
As a wooden component, bamboo naturally has water stored within its confines. This could give rise to a problem should it not be suitable and appropriately dried off. The test products from other sources that were made with different degrees of temperature of the bamboo or the molding apparatus. Take note that the final products of the various test products have the feel and appearance of plastic, but actually, it does not.
Molded Bamboo’s environmental edge
In reality, bamboo is an adaptable and quick grower grass. The growth is so rapid that it does not even require the use of fertilizers because it grows from a rhizome. Growing from a rhizome would mean that harvesting the bamboo doesn’t give the plant a death sentence but a way to grow quicker.
Accordingly, the bamboo is a renewable resource when compared to the plastic which is made through the efforts of oil, and it is also a biodegradable product. When plastic is compared to bamboo, the products made of plastic often leach chemicals when heated and the bamboo does not carry any of such chemicals.
Also, the bamboo powder is a waste byproduct of other products manufactured from bamboos. We could consider the use of bamboo powder as a way of recycling from industrial wastes.
The use of plastic is established in our daily lives while molded bamboo is something that is more contemporary. In observation, the massive industrial corporations do not even consider the use of molded bamboo, let alone market the product to fame. But not every large company does this, and some stores such as Natural Home Brands sell molded bamboo kitchen utensils. Here’s to hoping that one day, molded bamboo would be considered as a common product that we see in our homes.