100% Organic & Biodegradable Technology Increases Shelf Life of Banana Leaves from 3 Days to 3 Years
Team : FARM REX (B.VoC Agriculture - first year / group 6)
Tenith Adithyaa a curious natured boy since his childhood days was just 11 years old when he saw farmers in his neighbouring Watrap village in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu, throwing heaps of banana leaves into the trash bin. When asked the farmers why they were doing so, the answer was- “The wilted leaves had no use for them.”
Banana Leaf Technology:
He did not forget that incident and later in life, inspired by a dream to make a superior and sustainable biomaterial that could one day replace paper or synthetic materials like plastic, Adithyaa did 4 years of research in his homemade laboratory. After a series of trials and errors, he finally arrived at an innovation called the Banana Leaf Technology.
This technology enhances the shelf life of banana leaves to 3 years from their average shelf life of 3 days & that too organically without using any artificial chemicals. He has received an international award at the global science fair in Texas, USA, in 2014 for his unique invention.
Tenith Adithyaa states on his website, “Naturally, leaves & most biomaterials degrade within a shelf lifespan of three days and are discarded as waste. Banana leaf technology is a cellular eco-friendly technology that preserves leaves and organic biomaterials for a year without the use of any chemicals. This technology enhances the leaves’ physical properties thus making a viable biodegradable material alternative to both plastic and paper.”
Benefits of Banana leaf technology:
1. These preserved banana leaves can survive under extreme climatic conditions. They also carry more weight than in their original form.
2. Till one year, the leaf can be preserved in its natural green colour, and after that its shelf life span extends to three years.
3. It is organic & eco-friendly technology which is completely chemical free.
4. It is 100% biodegradable. Thus, there is no landfill and waste production.
5. Banana leaf technology doesn’t cause deforestation & prevents environmental destruction.
6. Thus to conclude, this technology is organic, sterilized, chemical free, UV treated & 100 per cent organic. Hence, it is good for health.
7. The cost of processing a single leaf is USD $0.01.
Adithyaa’s website further adds, “The technology enhances cells, strengthens cell walls of leaves and prevents pathogenic agents from destroying the cells. These processed biomaterials are biodegradable, healthy, pathogenic resistant, human-friendly and completely eco-friendly. A viable replacement for disposables, it prevents the destruction of around 7 billion trees annually.”
He says, “There are no artificial chemicals needed in the processing of these leaves. There was no need of any additional products besides the leaves themselves. This technology is deployed using machines for commercial purposes. We use banana leaves as it is a commonly found raw material.”
Uses of Banana Leaf Technology:
· You can make multiple products from this technology such as plates, cups, envelopes, straws and boxes.
· It has economical, innovative and environmental impact. This, it has received more than 7 international awards & 2 national awards, which includes the prestigious International Environmental Award, International Green Technology Award, Technology for the Future Award & also other esteemed recognitions.
Adithyaa informs, “We are not in the manufacturing of banana leaf products. Our business model revolves around the transfer of technology to people interested in manufacturing these products. Multiple industries can utilise this technology for their day to day use. This particular business model is the most efficient as we don’t want to restrict this technology for a couple of products & industries,”
Adithyaa who is a serial innovator, scientist, software developer, science campaigner & motivational speaker said, “We price this transfer of technology depending on what kind of products a manufacturer produces, nature of the business (if it’s a non-profit the price comes down exponentially and the opposite for commercial for profit entities), the volume of products manufactured and market potential, amongst others.”
Though, this technology was launched about a decade ago, it required a battery of testing for commercialisation. After doing tests for almost a decade, his firm commercialised this technology a couple of months back.