Plastic pollution has become one of the main problems of modern society. Single-use plastic has been making waves in the news ever since it became apparent just how harmful it can be.
In 2016, the world produced more than 35 million metric tons of plastic, and half of that was for single-use items like plastics packaging, bottles, and straws. Those items stay in our ecosystem for up to 1,000 years.
Experts claim that by 2050, there will be more pieces of plastics in the sea than fish. Fortunately, numerous organizations and companies are struggling to address the issue.
One such group, Tenith Innovations, has found numerous ways to use banana leaves in everyday life.
The company said:
“Over half of the world’s plastics and paper are used one time and then thrown away. This accounts for an annual cut down of 7 billion trees.
Mother nature offers us everything we need and it’s up to humankind to make the right choice.”
Tenith Innovations created Banana Leaf Technology, which is a “cellular eco-friendly technology” that preserves leaves and organic biomaterials for up to a year without using any harmful chemicals.
The technique has been developed by Tenith Adithyaa, an Indian innovation scholar who is now the CEO of the social network Altruu. Leaves and biomaterials degrade within a few days, so they are not the best alternative to plastics.
Yet, their technology improves the physical properties of leaves by adding a natural preservative.
This makes them durable for up to three years, even though they lose their color after one year, and able to replace both, paper and plastic.
Preserved leaves have boosted durability, stretchability, and crushability, and can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than their original nature.
According to their website:
“The technology enhances cells, strengthens cell walls of leaves and prevents pathogenic agents from destroying the cells.
These processed biomaterials are biodegradable, healthy, pathogenic resistant, human-friendly and completely eco-friendly. A viable replacement for disposables, it prevents the destruction of around 7 billion trees annually.”
Banana Leaf Preservation Technology has received over 7 international awards and 2 national awards, including the prestigious International Environmental Award, International Green Technology Award, and Technology for the Future Award.
It now offers 30 products that utilize its preservation methods, including plates, cups, cones, boxes, writing paper and envelopes, and other products are expected to be developed, as the patented Banana Leaf Technology is customizable.
“Implementing this tech does not increase the need for banana plantations; thus, the current reforestation cycle will remain the same. The materials will be harvested from the existing banana trees since most of the leaves from the banana trees are not utilized.
Our tech does not come into banana cultivation, as it is a cellular tech. Hence, it can be used on any materials made of plant cells. The tech can be applied on any leaves — not only the banana.
The banana leaves are mostly utilized because of their widespread cultivation around the world. (Our tech) will not alter the cultivation demand or decrease it, but there is an average water footprint of 790 m3/ton for bananas.”