Frequently Asked Questions



What is Greencane Paper?

All Greencane toilet paper is made from a combination of fast-growing bamboo and recycled sugarcane pulp (a byproduct of sugar production). This achieves a tree-free paper, which is a core ideal for Greencane Paper. Every tonne of recycled sugarcane pulp we use saves 17 trees! For our facial tissues and paper towels, we have arrived at an 80 percent mix of bamboo and recycled sugarcane, with the remaining 20 percent being timber fibre necesssary to ensure strength. Our ongoing aim is to minimise the use of this fibre to avoid cutting down 25-year-old trees.



How sustainable is Greencane’s raw material?


Both sugarcane and bamboo are fast-growing tropical crops that are farm harvested annually. The sugarcane and bamboo we use in Greencane Paper are grown in rural parts of Southern China. Because it’s their ideal growing climate they don’t need artificial fertilisers to flourish, and because both plants have strong natural pest resilience they don’t need chemical pesticides. During harvesting, only the growth part of the plant is removed, so next year’s crop grows back naturally from the rhizome root system. This means bamboo and sugarcane have a far lower environmental impact than forestry, where harvesting and replanting results in erosion, extensive land scarring and soil deprivation.



How environmentally sound is Greencane manufacturing?


We believe we’ve covered all the bases. Because our source materials, bamboo and sugarcane, are extremely biodegradable, we need to manufacture close to where they are grown. The ideal location is in Asia, where more than 60 percent of the world’s sugarcane crop grows. Our factory in Southern China is quality accredited with the International Environmental Standard ISO14001, which means it’s subjected to annual external audits. Additionally, Greencane founder Geoff has visited the factory many times. As a company, we have strong ideals and take very seriously the trust of our customers, so we’re constantly monitoring for any non-complying human or environmental practices. 



How do you ship Greencane and manage your carbon footprint?


We ship our product with ocean container shipping, which offers the most carbon-efficient form of volume transportation. Maritime shipping results in fewer carbon emissions than, say, trucking smaller quantities significant distances. Both of our raw materials, bamboo and sugarcane, sequester carbon dioxide and, being fast-growing, sequester four times as much as trees. We are aware of our role and responsibilities in this area and will continue to explore the best environmental options available.



How environmentally friendly is Greencane packaging?


We’re proud to say our packaging is plastic-free, 100 percent biodegradable and certified compostable. It uses a combination of cardboard and paper, with the transparent window on the retail packaging for our paper towels and toilet paper made from plant-based, natually biodegradable cellophane, rather than plastic. Our tissue boxes are designed without a plastic insert. A significant number of Greencane customers home compost, and one of them was kind enough to let us know that our brown bag retail packaging breaks down in 30 days, the sticker label (with its plant-bases glues) breaks down in 60 days, and the cellophane composts within 90 days.



What type of bleaching is used with Greencane Paper?


All white paper has been bleached at some stage in its production, but the combination of sugarcane and bamboo fibres that we use in our products requires less bleaching than timber-based paper. The key issue with the bleaching method is that we do not use chlorine-based bleaches, which have been linked with environmental contaminants such as dioxins and furans in waterways. Our ISO14001 Environmental Certification provides assurance that our practices are safe and environmentally friendly.



Who owns Greencane Paper and where are you based?


Greencane is wholly owned by New Zealanders Geoff and Helen Arden. It was established in 2010, with the ongoing objective of saving trees and offering consumers a sustainable environmental choice, rather than building a high-volume business. Although Geoff and Helen are based in New Zealand, Greencane Paper is also available in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. Each country operates on a legal stand-alone basis, with the aim of always being a good citizen, supporting local businesses, giving back to the local community and never avoiding tax obligations. 







The Facts:

  • Sugarcane is a tropical grass that takes one year to grow to harvesting.
  • Originally known as the Indian honey-bearing reed, it was introduced from Asia to Africa in the Middle Ages, then spread to Europe and South America.
  • Sugarcane needs only rainwater and sunshine to grow year after year, so it’s not introducing pesticides or fertilisers into the soil.
  • In total, 200 countries commercially grow sugarcane. Brazil is the largest grower of sugarcane, with 33 percent of the world’s crop. India is next with 17 percent. Australia is eighth, growing four percent of the world’s sugar.
  • After the sweet juice has been extracted from sugarcane’s fleshy stalks to make sugar, a dry fibre called bagasse is left behind. It’s this byproduct that we use in Greencane paper – a win-win for the environment because it recycles a waste product and saves trees at the same time.
  • Every tonne of recycled pulp saves 17 trees!



The Facts:

  • Bamboo takes only a year to become a harvestable crop.
  • It is an excellent carbon sink – able to sequester four times as much carbon dioxide as trees.
  • Growing bamboo has a low environmental impact and is great for hillside soil conservation.
  • Bamboo farming supports rural communities, offering a viable crop for smaller landowners and, being so light, causing minimal wear on roads and transport systems.



The Facts:

  • Around ¼ of all the trees cut down go into producing paper.
  • With 95% of all paper solely made from wood.
  • 30% of the globe is covered with forest. This corresponds to around a football field for every person on the planet.
  • Currently with world deforestation an area of forest equivalent to the size of New Zealand is lost every 4 years.