Bananas, Coffee and Paper: A Common Fiber

What do bananas, coffee and paper have in common? Certain paper manufactured today is tree-free, or no wood pulp from trees is being used to make it.

In only 15 countries, the banana agro-industry processes each year 42 million tons of bananas with 2 million hectares planted. This industry generates numerous wastes such as: the plastic that wrap the bananas, plastic cords to tie the wrapping, damaged bananas and the pinzote (stems). An alarming quantity of over 10 million metric tons of pinzote is thrown in landfills or in local rivers.

The pinzote is composed 92% of water, 3% of resins and 2% glucose, the rest is vegetal fiber. This particular composition makes it decompose with the solid component not getting destroyed. This causes a severe impact on the surrounding ecosystems, the detriment of rivers and underground waters, also the massive reproduction of flies and nauseous smells.

Instead of ending up landfills and rivers, some of the byproducts from the banana and coffee agro-industries end up being used by some paper companies use  to make paper. EcoPaper is an example of one of these companies. This not only saves trees from being cut down, but it also helps sustain our environment.

These papers are recyclable and they actually improve the life cycle of the paper according to Harry Johansing with EcoPaper.

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