Peruvian Company Creates Compostable Plates Made From Banana Leaves

A group of young people in Peru recently announced that they have created biodegradable dishes made of banana leaves as a way of reducing the amount of waste found in landfills across the globe, according to Intelligent Living:

“(‘Bio Plant’) can decompose within 2 months – it’s completely degraded naturally before the 60 days are up. Those commonly used plates and containers made of polystyrene (styrofoam) on the other hand take up to 500 years, causing untold amounts of damage to the flora and fauna of the oceans and wildlife on land.”

Bio Plant began with a cooperative agreement between the inventors of the banana leaf plates and financing from Innóvate Peru Program, which held a Bio Challenge contest “aimed at supporting the development of innovative solutions focused on the sustainable use of the resources of our biodiversity.”

With the seed money they obtained, Bio Plant was then able to design and manufacture machines — a presser, a shipper, and die cutter — that allow them to produce 50,000 dishes a month.

The leader of the Bio Plant initiative, Josué Soto, explained that his company is working with producers of materials in the Peruvian Amazon, which allows them to train workers and also use excess banana leaves for a purpose that benefits everyone.

Overall, the Chuwa Plant group is also making dishes out of paper and cardboard cellulose. Like the ones made of banana plants, all are biodegradable, resistant to temperatures, and can be used with any kind of food.

Soto also noted that it’s not necessary to cut down banana trees or remove the leaves from them. Instead, they use the leaves that break off as pickers harvest coconuts from trees.

Additionally, the plates aren’t carcinogenic because they don’t contain any styrene, which is composed of a petroleum derivative that may be harmful to humans.

Bio Plant plates and bowls are already being used across Peru:

“The group plans to enter the natural restaurants and ecological wineries market with their product. ‘The approximate sale price of our dishes is 100 to 120 soles (US$29.64-35.56) for 100 dishes, depending on the thickness of the sheet, but over time it may be more accessible to all consumers,’ said Soto.”

There are many benefits of using biodegradable plates, according to LovetoKnow:

“The foremost benefit of using biodegradable plates is the positive impact it has on the environment. Choosing to use biodegradable plates for a picnic or cookout means less plastic being hauled off to the local landfill. Seaside celebrations avoid contributing to the ever growing plastic problem threatening aquatic life.”

Also, using compostable plates and bowls helps reduce pollution in the oceans and on the land from leakage out of landfills, a common threat faced by cities across the world.

Biodegradable and compostable plates are stronger than paper plates, which often fold when food is placed on them:

“From a usability standpoint, most biodegradable plates tend to be better choices for serving food since some paper plates often become soggy and collapse under the weight, heat and steam of foods. The majority of biodegradable plates are stronger than paper plates.”

But perhaps the best reason of all for choosing such plates is that they don’t have to be washed and you don’t have to feel guilty when you toss them into the trash at the end of a meal.

 

Featured Image Via Chuwa Plant

 

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Andrew Bradford
 

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