This great innovation of making Eco-friendly paper and cloth from banana tree waste(banana fiber) is done by an entrepreneur from Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh which is near to Bundelkhand region of India. This revolutionary idea of reducing the hundred of a ton of banana tree waste to reuse it to make paper, sanitary napkin, tissue, and the cloth will help us save forests and the environment.
Mehul Shroff, who belongs to Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh got this idea in his hometown which is known for its banana fields. Banana cultivation is the main agricultural produce of the district. Banana cultivation is done on 20,000 hectares of fields. He saw hundreds of tons of banana tree waste being produced every year, it gave him the idea to reuse this waste into something useful while reducing the waste.
This will provide some extra income to the farmers of Bundelkhand and nearby areas who can sell their Banana Crop waste to these industries. It will reduce the hurdle for farmers to deal with huge waste dumps. This technique will reduce waste, reuse waste and help the environment.
How Mehul Shroff used banana tree waste to make eco-friendly paper and cloths
During childhood when Mehul used to pass through Banana farms, he noticed that people think of banana stems. The banana tree’s life span is 10-11 months and it gives 2 harvests(Fruit) in its life span. People used banana leaves and fruit but the banana stem was treated as waste and it was available in huge quantity. People used banana stem juice but the consumption was not enough to reduce the waste.
Mehul studied how banana tree stem can be used
After conceiving this idea of making eco-friendly paper and cloths from banana tree waste, he decided to study the tree itself and researched the banana stem. He spends weeks researching the microbiology of banana trees. He found that Banana stems are high in cellulose and it has a high amount of natural fibers.
He realized that banana stem can be used to manufacture a variety of products and can attract many industries that make cloths and paper products. Mehul decided to use banana stem in productive ways to build products that will be made of Agro waste so it will never consider waste and those products will be recyclable and bio-degradable. He started his own factory named Shroff industries to make his idea a reality.
This great vision and effort of Mehul Shroff were highly appreciated by the Collector(IAS) of Burhanpur. he acknowledges this technique can be great for local farmers tah
How fibers are extracted from banana stem
First, they cut Banana stems and load them in tractors and bring them to the factory. They used cutters to cut it into half vertically. Sheets are separate from the cut banana stem by a workforce of women. These sheets are processed via several machines to extract fibers out of them. They get long and short fibers which are then sun-dried to make them suitable for different industries.
Usage of banana fiber made from Banana stem
Sanitary pads are made fro banana fiber
Banana fibers contain a huge amount of cellulose because which easily absorbs liquid and water. It can be used to make eco-friendly sanitary pads that only take 200 days to decompose.
Banana fiber is used to make clothes, tissue, and paper. In addition to this, tissues also can be made out of these, which will save millions of trees.
Toilet paper wipes out 27,000 trees a day. Worldwide, the equivalent of almost 270,000 trees
Basket and broomsticks can be made from the waste of hard fibers that is not suitable for making paper and clothing.
How Eco-friendly paper and cloth from banana tree waste will help the environment
Cotton cultivation is done for the sole purpose of making clothes and it cannot be used for anything else. On the other hand, banana trees can be used for fruits, leaves, stem juice in addition to banana fiber-based products. This will not need separate cultivation or additional resources like water and fertilizers. Banana fiber usage will help reduce water footprint and help conserve the forest. It will help the environment and keep our earth planet sustain life for a longer period.
This had shown us that our people from India are capable of great innovation that can make this world a better place. we want more and more people to join the banana fiber-based product industry so a large number of products can be produced and made available on the market. It will lead to the fast growth of this new industry.
If more industries start using this technique and put more effort into research that will enhance the final product quality and it can be exported to other countries to help the Indian economy. This will bring a lot of employement for the M.p and bundelkhand region as industries will be setup to use the locally available banana tree waste.