Can Bamboo Be Grown in the UK?

November 16, 2019

Bamboo-Grown-in-the-UK

Bamboo is the world’s fastest and most sustainable eco-friendly material. But why do we import ours from Vietnam and why do most other companies do the same? Can’t bamboo be grown in the UK?

The answer has several parts, so let’s break it down, but firstly, yes, bamboo can be grown in the UK. Bamboo requires sun and water to grow. Mountainous regions are best, but bamboo can also be grown in other parts of the world if cared for correctly.

Energy efficient?

Bamboo requires a lot of sun and water to be grown in abundance. If bamboo doesn’t receive the right amount of water and sun then it won’t grow as quickly or as plentifully.

In areas of the world such as Vietnam, bamboo is grown high atop local mountains where it receives ample sun and water, direct from nature.

In the UK, these conditions are created artificially by feeding the bamboo and using water to grow it and even with this additional source of nourishment the bamboo still can’t be grown as quickly as in the tropics, simply because the amount of water it would take to compete with the natural ecosystem in Vietnam would be tremendous!

Although bamboo straws and cutlery made in Asia are transported across the world, they can be shipped using low-impact sea freighting and made using minimal water and no artificial lighting.

Scale?

Bamboo is native to Asia and conditions in Asia are perfect for growing bamboo. In the same way that British lamb or Spanish pork is considered tastier than alternatives in other countries, Vietnamese bamboo is considered stronger and better than other species.

In order to grow bamboo in the UK at the scale that is required to satisfy the country’s need for drinking straws we would have to use an insurmountable quantity of water.

The climate and topography in the UK simply doesn’t allow for vast bamboo forests as much as we wish it would!

Species differences?

Reusable bamboo straws and cutlery need certain characteristics in order to be successful. They need to be sturdy, durable, eco-friendly and we want them to be natural and organic too!

Bamboo species grown in the Thanh Hoa region of Vietnam is special in the bamboo world. It is strong, long-lasting and hollow. Perfect for straws.

Bamboo species grown elsewhere will be different and not necessarily suitable for drinking straws.

So bamboo shouldn’t be grown in the UK?

We love and support anyone who is trying to make a difference by producing sustainable products whether that is in the UK or elsewhere. But the problem is bigger than just our little island. We need to think about plastic waste and sustainability on a global scale and use the resources that the Earth has so kindly given us.

Bamboo can be grown in the UK, but could we ever grow enough?



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blogs

Zerowaste and sustainable wholesale products UK
Where to Buy Zerowaste Wholesale Products?

December 09, 2019

Where to find eco-friendly wholesale products? How to check whether they are ethically-sourced? We explore different ways to find ethically-sourced eco-friendly products as a zerowaste store owner in this 5min blog article.

Read More

Can Bamboo Cutlery Be Recycled?
Can Bamboo Cutlery Be Recycled?

December 06, 2019

Bamboo cutlery and bamboo straws are becoming more and more popular as plastic starts to decline. But can these utensils be recycled? Should they be recycled? And if not, then what are the alternatives? In this 5min zerowaste blog we look at the most eco-friendly way to dispose of your bamboo cutlery and straws.

Read More

Are Safety Razor Blades Universal?
Are Safety Razor Blades Universal?

December 05, 2019

A quick summary of where to find safety razor blades for your new Jungle Culture safety razor. Are blades universal? How long can they be used?

Read More