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What is Cellulose, and Why Should You Be So Excited About It?

Posted on 3/23/2022

in Eco-Friendly Materials

Green plants contain cellulose.

Does the word cellulose bring back memories from your high school science class? Cellulose is more than just an organic compound you learned about in chemistry class—it’s transforming the biodegradable product landscape for the better. We’ll break down everything you need to know about cellulose, from what it is, its history, and the environmental benefits of buying products made from cellulose.   

What is Cellulose, and Who Discovered It?

Believe it or not, cellulose is always around us! It is a naturally occurring organic compound produced by algae, plants, some bacteria, and other microorganisms. Cellulose gives strength and stability to algae and plants because it is their main structural component.

Not all plants are created the same in terms of the amount of cellulose. For example, cotton contains over 90% cellulose, while wood only consists of 40-50%. Insects and animals cannot produce cellulose, but it is vital for their survival.

In 1838, French chemist Anselme Payen found and isolated cellulose. He also deciphered the chemical formula of cellulose, helping spur the development of and usage of cellulose for various products and processes.

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Using Cellulose as a Material?

Since plants produce cellulose, it is a highly abundant, durable, and renewable material. Cellulose has widespread commercial usage, including paper manufacturing and textile production. 

Compared to other materials, cellulose has a ton of upside, as it is both biodegradable and compostable! 

Purchasing biodegradable products help reduce the amount of waste produced since they break down over time. Specifically, using biodegradable plastic products decreases greenhouse gas emissions because they are not being burned in landfills if adequately disposed of after use. 

Compostable products help enrich the soil.  Since cellulose is naturally occurring, it lacks harmful artificial materials. When the materials decay, they help improve the soil’s water and nutrient retention rates.

Looking For Products Made From Cellulose? We Have You Covered.

Choosing to purchase sustainable products is a crucial step in protecting our environment. At Green Paper Products, we use the best materials for our eco-friendly products. Check out a few of our biodegradable products here.