Processed banana leaves, an eco-friendly packaging solution

In Asia, banana leaves were always used for food packaging. But they quickly deteriorate. They have been overtaken by plastics, that now often clog the waterways and pollute the oceans. An young Indian inventor has managed to process banana leaves to a packaging material that keeps it properties for three years. And it is perfectly biodegradable.

Products made from banana leaves.
Products made from banana leaves. Photo: Banana Leaf Technology Products.

Paper and plastic, the preferred packaging materials of the industrialized society, both have a major downside. For paper, mankind cuts down billons of trees annually. And plastic disposables thrown away result in a world-wide pollution with unknown effects. But, as the company Banana Leaf Technology Products tells us, Mother Nature offers us everything we need. So it’s up to humankind to make the right choice. ‘Nature and mankind should coexist in every aspect to create the sustainable civilisation.’

Cellular enhancement in banana leaves

Banana Leaf Technology started in 2010 when Tenith Adithyaa, then 11 years old, saw farmers in Southern India dump heaps of banana leaves as trash due to the lack of a preservation technology. The spark ignited when the question came to the mind, ‘can these leaves be enhanced biologically?’ By trial and error, he succeeded in preserving the leaves for about a year without using any chemicals. For four years, he perfected his technology of cellular enhancement. He received his first international award for this technology in 2014, at the global invention fair in Texas.

Banana Leaf Gift Box
Banana leaf gift box. Photo: Banana Leaf Technology Products.

The technology enhances cells, strengthens cell walls of leaves and prevents pathogenic agents from destroying the cells. Increased in their durability, stretchability and crushability, preserved leaves can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than in their original state. The preservation capability of leaves with natural green colour is for a period of up to one year and an extended shelf lifespan of three years without its natural colour. These processed biomaterials are biodegradable, healthy, pathogenic resistant, human-friendly and completely eco-friendly.

Banana leaves to fulfil modern needs

‘This technology evolves the traditional practice to suit modern needs,’ the company website tells us, ‘thus providing a sustainable environmental solution to a longstanding global problem and on its way to saving 4 billion trees every year. This processed biomaterial made from leaves currently serves over 30 products wherein its applications are limitless.’ And the website does not fail to mention that this material serves ten out of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the United Nations.

‘This processed biomaterial is totally chemical-free, animal fodder, cost-effective, 100 % bio-degradable and goes back into nature when discarded in 28 days as opposed to plastic and similar products which stay in nature for around 7,30,000 days. This solves the global landfill crisis that results in constantly rising heaps of garbage which amount to more than 1 billion tons per year, almost reaching up to Mount Everest and prevents the death and cruelty to 200 million land and aquatic animals.’

‘This humble initiative to save millions of trees, directs a path for humanity towards saving the environment with the promise of circular economy and now it is time to be the Heroes, we were always meant to be, the guardians of the planet.’

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47 thoughts on “Processed banana leaves, an eco-friendly packaging solution”

  1. I am doing disposable plates industry now i want to turn my business with bio digradable material so i want to attend where ever New technology conferences please invite me such summits in world wide

    Reply
  2. My name is elorm Josephine a high school graduate. I found out about this amazing project that am sure will end our planet from being swallowed by tons of garbage. Actually I want to be an ambassador of this project in My country so am currently working on designs and ways to make it more effective to use before it is introduced into the system but I need guidance and support. So please can u help so that we make this happen in my country and beyond please.

    Reply
  3. Hi there, great idea.

    My name is Aaron from the UK

    I am currently in the process of making simple, organic and biodegradable packaging using purely natural material, material being leaves. Nothing special, however we have a concoction of natural earthy pulp (no chemicals whatsoever) and biodegradable wax whereby once the process from start to finish has been completed this will form sturdy, waterproof and long lasting packaging material which will be available in sheets or other types of packaging features determined by what works best for suppliers and being flexible and sturdy this could replace the plastic packaging we see in the supermarkets today.

    This material is proven to allow the choice of being refrigerated or frozen, the biodegradable wax helps to protect the produce enough to keep fresh and to keep out any moisture for a substantial amount of time, strong enough to keep food products inside the packaging without any taring or splitting.

    From Fish, Meats, frozen produce to fresh and freshly made products this packaging would work for all.

    Most of all the complete packaging is totally environmentally friendly and green to the community, and as stated the product is biodegradable and will rot down and dispose of itself without any human interference from anywhere between 3-8 weeks just the same as fallen leaves to in your back garden.

    Along with this product we offer local communities and businesses a clean up service totally free of charge. In this service we remove fallen leaves that may be blocking drainage systems, causing a nuicance in the workplace I.e tredding in wet leaves creating a mess and most of all clearing walkways which could be dangerous and cause significant harm for small children and the elderly I.e such as shopping parades, schools and Care homes. Clearing will prevent slips trips and falls and will make the area look clean and tidy. We offer this as a completely free service because we believe in giving something back to the community in return for the waste we collect from yourselfs to keep our packaging being processed.

    I am looking for feedback or any questions that people may have on this product I am more then willing to answer and also any concerns with the product you may come across.

    Reply
    • Hello Aaron,

      I am the founder of a charity that is working in Nepal where we are looking at using banana fibre and other natural products to make disposable plates and cutlery. I would love to have an exchange with you about packaging material. Would that be possible?

      Best wishes

      Philip

      Reply
    • Dear Aaron,

      We work with natural fibres in Assam, India. We’re working on some research projects to process banana fibres naturally and efficiently. Most importantly, we are constantly looking for sustainable packaging solutions that can be produced locally with minimum capital expenditure, so that the local community can own them.
      May we connect?

      Reply
      • Hi Nisha,

        I am looking for a contact to get me banana leaf box packs for food take aways. Could we connect, Pls send me an email to
        nroshanr(at)gmail(dot)com

        Reply
    • Hi Aaron. My name is Firdowsa Ali from Nairobi, Kenya. I am a social entrepreneur under Banana green packaging solutions and would like to learn more and apply the process to banana leaves for the citizens in Kenya.

      Kindly let’s get in touch
      !

      Reply
    • Mr. Aaron
      I am very much pleased to know you achievments to save earth from plastic by making packing materials from leafs.
      I am based in Assam, India having lots of forest hence having lots of leafs and you know our region in India is most backward.Please note, we have lots of plantation on banana and having tree and banana leafs in huge quantity.
      We are in process to get fibre from banana tree(stem) to make cloth,rope,and other items.If with your help/technology we can make packaging materials from leafs we shall be grateful and will help our hilly people.
      Awaiting your early response
      With regards
      Banwari Agarwal,Guwahati,Assam,India

      Reply
      • Hello am from Ghana, am very happy to hear this, will like to get into contact with you. Thanks for a good work.

        Reply
      • Hello Banwari Agarwal

        My name is Tuyet, from Vietnam.
        I am also in dire need of information regarding the production of materials from banana trees, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please share the methods with me.

        Thank you very much

        Reply
    • Hello, Aaron.
      My name is Vince, and I am writing to you from India. I am involved in a couple of community based projects related to upcycling. I have also been supplying bagasse based tableware to restaurants in Bangalore.
      I would love to know more about your initiative.

      Reply
      • Hello Aron
        I would love to be part of this project. I live in Ibadan Nigeria, and for many years plastic packaging has been the most preferred for food, and this disposables are causing a lot of environmental damages on our water ways and also blocking the drainage system. Almost all foods are now packaged with plastic and it’s not eco-friendly. Once it rains, everywhere get flooded.

        I want to solve this problem, Mr Aron I want to be part of your team, representing your ideas in my Nation.

        I would love to work with you.

        Thanks….

        Reply
    • Hi Aaron
      I would love to hear about this product. Are you able to sell this in the UK?
      I live in Los Angeles CA and this would be an item that would go especially in high end grocery stores. Ex Whole Foods, Mother’s Market and Sprouts. Here in CA people will pay for all natural products. If you have literature please share. If they pay 8.00 for gallon of organic milk.
      I’m sure this product is needed Edu to climate change.
      Ina Cipolla
      Inacipolla@me. Com

      Reply
  4. Hello,
    First of I would like to appreciate what you have achieved in the era where mother nature needs to be stabilised. I am very keen to glean into this banana leaf packaging and its manufacturing process so is it possible to talk to someone on the team for in-depth information.

    Eagerly awaiting response..

    Reply
  5. Hello,

    My name is Dharmesh, I work as a manager at Novacare.in please refer to the website below. Would like to know more about this product and technology and if it can be applied to make corrugated boxes. We have a small manufacturing facility and would like to see the workability of this product and explore more avenues. Any help or insight would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    Reply
  6. If there is someone interested in starting that business in Southamerica, please contact me. I would like to analise some points of this with someone.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for writing this, Diederik! It is a great article to help us understand sustainable beauty products and it has started my journey into further research. Love your entire blog,

    Reply
  8. This post was created in 2020. Has anyone got into manufacturing these in India? I am in need of my business. Very keen on using eco-friendly materials that are economical too

    Reply
  9. Dear Aaron

    My name is Tuyet, I am from Vietnam,

    I am extremely surprised and happy to read your post, thanks God

    I am also in dire need of information regarding the production of materials from banana trees, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please share the methods with me.

    Thank you very much

    Reply
  10. Hello Aron
    I would love to be part of this project. I live in Ibadan Nigeria, and for many years plastic packaging has been the most preferred for food, and this disposables are causing a lot of environmental damages on our water ways and also blocking the drainage system. Almost all foods are now packaged with plastic and it’s not eco-friendly. Once it rains, everywhere get flooded.

    I want to solve this problem, Mr Aron I want to be part of your team, representing your ideas in my Nation.

    I would love to work with you.

    Thanks….

    Reply
  11. Hello Aaron,

    I would love to hear about this project as am interest and planning for a start up business which is Eco friendly.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could share the details.

    Reply
  12. Dear Sir, I am aware of the use of banana leaves in the packaging industry as a sustainable and eco friendly alternative to the plastic. I have been in the business of banana plantation for last three years. I am interested in selling the banana leaves and stems cut separately to packaging industry in the nearby area of Nagpur, Maharashtra. Please guide.

    Reply
  13. Nice! The information I got through this blog has really helped me. That was something, I was desperately looking for, thankfully I found this at the right time.

    Reply
  14. I am a marketing professional and packaging designer. Would love to contribute to creating and bringing to market packaging that can replace plastics. Let me know if I can be on any help to anyone here.

    Reply
  15. Hello Aaron, this is a very informative thread . I am interested in learning more about and I am looking for some more details as i am planning into a venture for eco friendly products as a startup . Would appreciate your assistance in this regard .

    Reply

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