News Home & Design These Bamboo Cat Bowls Cut Down on Plastic They'll stand up to years of fervent feline use. By Treehugger Editors Treehugger Editors The Treehugger editorial team is a diverse group of experts—with advanced degrees, professional experience, published books, and more—whose expertise spans every corner of the sustainability space. Learn about our editorial process Published September 12, 2022 12:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Free the Ocean / Treehugger News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive In support of Free the Ocean's mission to clean up the ocean and reduce plastic use, each month we feature a product from their plastic-free shop. (Note: We do not make any money from these recommendations.) If you're in the market for a new food or water dish for your cat, you might want to check out Free the Ocean's Bamboo Cat Bowls. These are made by blending bamboo fibers with rice husks to create a solid, durable bowl that's more eco-friendly than conventional plastic. The presence of bamboo—used as a renewable filler in the dish's composition, as opposed to a synthetic material—is part of what makes it greener. Bamboo, which is technically a grass, grows 30% faster than trees and as much as 1.5 inches per hour! Not surprisingly, it produces 30% more oxygen and absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than trees, according to Mimi Ausland, founder of Free the Ocean. "It's a cut-and-come-again plant, which means it can be cropped without disrupting the root ball, minimizing carbon release when it's harvested." Rice husk is a byproduct of rice production that poses a challenge to farmers, due to its resistance to decomposition, digestion, and low nutritional value as livestock feed. Its use as a filler provides a purpose for an otherwise useless ingredient and, along with the bamboo, reduces the need for synthetic filler. While plastic resin is still needed to make composite materials, the rationale behind their increased eco-friendliness is that less actual plastic is required when higher ratios of natural fillers are utilized. "The total amount of epoxy resin/plastic required to make each product is reduced, because the bamboo fibres make up a significant percentage of the overall composite material. e.g. 40% bamboo, 60% plastic." The bamboo cat bowl is BPA-free and will not leach harmful chemicals or microplastics into your pet's water the way that conventional plastic can as it degrades. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, making the dishes resistant to mold and mildew. And, of course, you can throw it in the top rack of the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Ausland told Treehugger, "Plastic cat dishes harbor bacteria, which can put your cat's health at risk. Even if pet owners clean them regularly, they cannot be fully sanitized. Plastic bowls are the main cause of cat acne, as the bacteria within the scratches and cracks of plastic food and water dishes can aggravate a cat's skin." Cats will like the bowls, as they have low edges; that means whiskers won't get crushed. They're non-slip, sleekly designed with easy-to-pick-up handle, and come in four colors. Customers sound happy, too. One commented, "I like these cat food bowls and so do my cats. The cats like the low lip that makes it easy to eat out of and I like the fact that they're made of bamboo and that purchasing them makes a difference [for] plastic pollution! Easy to wash in the dishwasher." Free the Ocean offers carbon neutral deliveries. Check out the bowls here. View Article Sources "Top 3 Superpowers of Bamboo Pet Bowls." Free The Ocean. Nwosu-obieogu, Kenechi, et al. "Utilization of Rice Husk as Reinforcement in Plastic Composites Fabrication-A Review." American Journal of Materials Synthesis and Processing, vol. 1, 2016. doi:10.11648/j.ajmsp.20160103.12 "Bamboo Plastic, is it Really Eco Friendly?" Pandabode.