A plastic alternative made from the banana plant provides a new eco-friendly packaging as well as a use for banana plantation waste.
Compared to other crops, banana cultivation creates a great deal of waste, with only 12 percent of the plant actually being used. With that in mind, researchers from the University of New South Wales developed a banana-based material made from the plant’s pseudostems, which are chopped and dried into a powder and then chemically treated to isolate the fibers of nanocellulose. Those fibers are then used to create the banana plastic.
According to the team, the material can be poured at different thicknesses to make products ranging from shopping bags to thicker trays for packaging meat.
Image Credit: Richard Freeman/UNSWAssociate - Professor Jayashree Arcot, Professor Martina Stenzel and researcher Kehao Huang in the lab.
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