For sustainable society


Bananas reduce environmental pollution from excessive plastic disposal

A Peruvian venture company has developed a biodegradable tableware using a new material to replace single-use plastic containers. The material is, quite amazingly, banana leaves.

Chewa Plant, a venture company founded by Josué Soto and Rolf Torres Lizárraga, has developed Bio Plant, a disposable plate made out of banana leaves. When disposing of Styrofoam, which has been widely used as a material for disposable containers, it takes 500 years of an excessive amount of time to be decomposed. However, the plate made out of banana leaves is completely decomposed in just two months.

Of course, the excellent part of this plate is not only that it is decomposed naturally. It is excellent in water and heat resistance and additionally doesn’t contain carcinogenic substances such as styrene. The size of this plate is 22cm in width, 16cm in length, and 3cm in height, and the price is 100-120 soles per 100 plates (about 3,200-3,800 yen).

The company works with small-sized banana producers in the Amazon region, providing them deals at appropriate prices and technical training. The project has also been funded through the “Bio Challenge” that is a contest created by the “Innóvate Perú” a new business development program funded by the Ministry of Production. The company was able to design and manufacture machinery specialized in the production of disposable containers with the funding.

Chewa Plant aims to market the product to organic restaurants and other beverage and food manufacturers. The company has already been equipped to produce 50,000 plates monthly.

In Southeast Asia including India, banana leaves have generally been used as plates and package papers; however, due to the issue such as transportation costs, they were limited to be used near the production areas. People all over the world can use this plate as there is no distribution problem. The day the plates made out of banana leaves are lined up at a nearby supermarket may be coming soon.

Photo: Chuwa Plant