Young scientist develops banana leaf technology as an alternative to plastic

Tenith Adithyaa, a scientist from Wartap village in Tamil Nadu, uses Banana Leaf Technology, which preserves the leaves for up to three years, to create products that can serve as an alternative to plastic.

Plastic pollution is a serious threat to the world and alternatives are the need of the hour. Many environmentalists are looking at sustainable alternatives that do not harm the environment. 

From biodegradable sanitary pads to steel straws, many innovations have been made to address this global issue. 

Tenith Adithyaa (image: Edex Live)

Tenith Adithyaa, a scientist from Wartap village and the Founder of a startup called Tenith Design in Tamil Nadu, has developed different products using Banana Leaf Technology that has the potential to enhance the physical properties of banana leaves.

The technology ensures that banana leaves can be used as an alternative to plastic and paper, and can last up to three years.

Speaking with NDTV, Tenith said, “We are habituated to using plastic plates, straws, cup, polythene, and packaging. Paper alternatives are used only once and create a lot of waste, so I came up with an idea to replace these with banana leaves.”

He added, 

“The technology preserves banana leaves for over three years without the use of any chemicals. It also increases its durability. Preserved leaves can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight. The manufacturing cost of these plates and cups is very low, and they can ultimately be used as manure or fodder.”

His technology has already gained popularity in the West, receiving over seven international awards and two national awards. These include the International Environmental Award, International Green Technology Award, and Technology for the Future Award

Various products out of Banana Leaves (Image: NDTV)

This technology can be applied on other leaves as well, since it is a cellular enhancement. If thrown in the open environment, the banana leaf would decompose like any other leaf. 

Talking to The Hans India about its durability, Tenith said,

“The additional cost of the product varies with product design and add-on features like additional mechanical strength and added compliance. We are always dedicated to creating eco-friendly sustainable products that are priced competitively in the current global market.”

According to him, the cost is 10 paise per straw when made out of banana leaf; a plastic straw costs 70 paise. A plate made out of banana leaves would cost around Rs 1 only when compared to plastic waste which costs Rs 4.

Tenith added, “These processed leaves are 100 percent biodegradable, healthy, human-friendly, completely eco-friendly and are a viable replacement for disposables.”

(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)

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