Ally Hopwood

Pharmapac now offers a 100% recyclable, sugarcane plant-based packaging

Pharmapac (PPAC) is extremely proud to be adding a 100% recyclable plant-based packaging (sugarcane biopolymer) to our range of sustainable packaging options.

You may be seeing stories in your news feeds about plant-based packaging – in particular, products made with sugarcane. At Pharmapac, we like to educate as much as we can to help you make informed decisions.

What exactly is sugarcane plant-based packaging?

Sugarcane-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a biopolymer and a renewable alternative to petroleum-based plastics. It is made from sugarcane fibre after the extraction of juice, therefore utilising its waste.

Because sugarcane captures carbon dioxide (CO2) as it grows, the manufacturing of sugarcane-based plastics usually has a neutral impact on CO2, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its overall carbon footprint. For every kilogram of “green” plastic produced, 3.09 kilograms of CO2 is removed from the air!

Why is this particular I’m green™ plant-based, sugarcane packaging (bio-polymer) a great option?

After extensive research and development into food-grade polymers, we at Pharmapac (PPAC) decided to develop packaging in sugarcane, a plant-based biopolymer. The result is the I’m green™ sugarcane biopolymer. The sugarcane we use is a renewable raw material that is sustainably sourced by Pharmapac (PPAC).

This is a fantastic sustainable packaging option as manufacturers are able to gain carbon credits from the plant as it grows, and it is a by-product of the sugarcane industry, so it is not competing with a food source.

Sugarcane is physically and chemically identical to traditional HDPE plastic. It can, therefore, be recycled in the same recycling channels as #2 HDPE (unlike other biopolymers, which often cannot be recycled in New Zealand).

Pharmapac’s I’m green™ sugarcane plant-based packaging is also BPA free and FDA/EU 10/2011/compliant.

Pharmapac (PPAC) products made from sugarcane biopolymers are 100% recyclable. In fact, all Pharmapac manufactured products are 100% recyclable!


Please have a read of our Sustainability pages for more information. If there is anything in particular you would like to know more about, please get in touch. This is an area we are fiercely passionate about and would love to help educate our fellow manufacturers, suppliers and customers – in fact, everyone we share the planet with.