Booshoot, K-C to develop bamboo-based tissue

Mount Vernon, WA-based Boo shoot, a biotechnology company focused on bamboo fo rest ry, agriculture and nursery wholesale, and Kimberly-Clark (K-C) have settled on an agreement that will enable K-C to explore the manufacture of tissue products containing fiber derived from Booshoot’s proprietary bamboo propagation technology.

The partnership will work to develop highyield fiber alternatives that can be grown domestically on a mass agricultural scale in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

Under the agreement, Booshoot will deliver tens of thousands of bamboo starts to be grown in K-C pilot projects. The trials are designed to prove the viability of several species of giant bamboos, including Moso (Phyllostachys edulis), as scalable and sustainable tree fiber alternatives. Where conventional northern softwood trees take 60 or more years to reach harvestable maturity, Moso grows close to 100 feet tall and is harvestable in less than a decade, producing several times the fiber of traditional timber and capturing four times the CO2 of most trees.

Booshoot CEO Jackie Heinricher said in a statement “Booshoot has the proven science and production capacity required to eventually produce millions of bamboo plants annually which will play a critical part in reducing the world’s dependence on native forests.”

In 2011, K-C used nearly 750,000 tonnes of primary wood fiber from natural forests. The agreement with Booshoot is designed to help K-C to meet its pledge to halve the amount of natural forest fiber it uses by the year 2025, an amount equivalent to the fiber used to manufacture over three billion rolls of toilet paper.

Booshoot says its patent-pending bamboos are “true-to-type” species that are not genetically modified and produce more biomass on less land in less time than other traditional forest products. Booshoot says that bamboo provides strong, high-brightness numbers suitable for many furnish blends, with the same kraft pulping and bleaching sequences typically used for hardwoods. It can be harvested using standard methods.

In addition to providing fiber for the paper industry, bamboo from Booshoot is said to be an ideal raw material for everything from textiles to biofuels to building materials.

www.booshoot.com; www.kimberly-clark.com.

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