THE BANANA ALTERNATIVE TO PLASTIC PACKAGING

According to World Bank, municipal waste generation in Nigeria is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025. This is due to the rapid population growth and urbanization Nigeria is currently experiencing. With the recent report of Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON) putting annual waste generation in Nigeria at 65 million metric tonnes and Lagos flaunting an embarrassing 13 million metric tonnes annually, it’s important to note that plastic waste account for more than 65% of the aforementioned annual waste.

Image Credit: Pulitzer Center

Even though Plastic Recycling  is becoming a trending alternative to plastic waste menace in Nigeria, it’s important to look beyond recycling and focus more on plastic reduction strategies.

Recently, the Nigeria’s house of representatives passed a bill banning the use and sale of plastic bags in the country. The bill states that, anyone that fails to provide customers with paper bags in place of plastic bags risks three years in jail or a fine of N500,000 – or both penalties. The bill, still undergoing fine-tuning by the conference committee of the house before submission to the presidency is already sending shivers down the spine of SME’s in the country.

Image: aboutmanchester

However, while there is a bill in place and process ongoing, the environmental authorities of both the Federal and  State Government haven’t started the necessary sensitization to help SME’s and citizens become aware of the advantage of the proposed plastic ban bill and also create a seamless transition to zero plastic packaging.

We stumbled on the viral story of Asia embracing sustainable alternative to plastic packaging and reducing the amount of plastic waste on their landfills. Supermarkets and Malls in Asia are ditching plastic packaging of food items to embrace toxin free, chemical-free alternative of Banana leaves.

Image: Perfecthomes

Banana leaves are known to be beneficial to human either fresh or dried. According to an online health blog, Banana leaves are High in Antioxidants due to the fact that they contain high polyphenols, a type of antioxidants, which is needed to fight many disorders caused by free radicals in our body.  They Cure Sore Throats, Reduces Fever,  Boosts Immune System and are useful in the treatment of Dysentery. Banana leaves are also available in high quantity in Nigeria and with them, there is no fear of pollution. When decayed, they act as manure to the soil.

With the glaring benefits of Banana leaves to the environment and even the packaged food products, it’s important to sensitize small business owners and owners of large-scale supermarkets to embrace sustainable and viable alternative to plastic packaging of food products especially, fresh farm foods that are sold to the masses with plastic packaging which are known to contain carcinogenic properties.

Image: PerfectHomes

Beyond being a cheaper alternative, Banana Leaves are also beneficial to human and the environment at large. This solution, if embraced, will go a long way to reduce environmental pollution caused by plastic waste.

Image: ObamaFoundation

Olamide Ayeni

Engineer | Social Entrepreneur | Mother

Email: info@pearlrecycling.com.ng

Lagos, Nigeria

 

 

Have you ever wondered what we can make out of trash? find below some of our products, made from remodeled solid waste.

 

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