Environmental impacts of sugarcane production
- Habitat loss and ecosystem degradation: with millions of hectares under production, the sheer scale of sugarcane has degraded tropical forests, fragile coastal wetlands and islands. A dozen countries around the world devote 25% or more of all their agricultural land to the production of sugarcane.
- Chemicals, silt and sludge: fertilizers and other agrochemicals, and silt from eroded soils can pollute water courses, affecting people and wildlife. Wastewater from processing mills is a problem too.
- Erosion and degradation: when natural vegetation is removed to make way for sugarcane, soils are left exposed. This leads to erosion, loss of nutrients and hence more reliance on costly, environmentally damaging solutions—fertilizers.
Be part of the solution
When shopping, look for products with the Bonsucro label—an assurance that the sugar in this product was produced without causing environmental harm.