Producing Banana Fiber and Paper from Waste

Author – Goutham Veerabathini

natural-fibers-india
Image via commons.wikimedia.org by John Washington

Problem
Plastics and paper are the binding forces that help our information age to proceed further and conquer new frontiers. However, both these essential goods are sourced from non-renewable sources such as petroleum and forest trees. There is an urgent need to find alternatives to plastic polymers since they are non-biodegradable as well, which persist in the environment for ages. Paper consumption was expected to go down steadily with the onset of the electronic age, but it is nowhere near reduction. Further, the conventional method of making paper is highly polluting, which uses numerous chemicals for treating the wood fibres to form pulp, and in the process of getting papers of acceptable properties.

Traditional Solution

banana-fiber-extraction
Source – bananafibre.com

On the other hand, the agricultural sector in India produces a vast range of natural fibers that can be utilized to produce both fiber and paper. Natural fibers can be defined as substances that are obtained from plants such as agave, banana, jute, cotton, etc. which can be spun into filaments, threads or ropes and can be woven. Among these, banana fiber has emerged as a new eco-friendly innovation since it is produced from banana stem, which is a waste material after harvesting the banana fruit.

banana-fibre-paper
Source

Typically in banana cultivation, the stems of the plants are chopped off and thrown away once the fruits are sold. These wasted stems typically lay around in the farm and clearing from the land would cost a farmer almost about Rs. 3000 on average. Now, however, a new technology plant has managed to manufacture eco-friendly banana paper out of these banana stems!

The knowledge of extracting fiber and paper from banana was well known since the 13th Century when Japanese processed it. However, it was a time-consuming and costly process where banana stems were first boiled in lye to soften them and then prepared from shredding to extract yarn. They produced banana fibers of varying degrees of softness, yielding yarns and textiles with differing qualities for specific uses. The fibers extracted from the outermost stem layers are the coarsest, which are suitable for mats, bags and tablecloths, while the softest innermost fibers are used for the traditional Japanese handloom cloth-making process.

Innovative Solution
In 2000s, Eco Green Unit a paper manufacturing firm attached to the Agri Business Directorate of the Tamilnadu Agricultural University, and Chaitanya Mandal a Pune-based NGO innovated a new process to extract fiber from banana stems. They created a simple mechanical process where a machine can extract fiber in an efficient manner. This banana fiber extracting machine can be easily operated by an unskilled workers and gives maximum output of fibers. These eco-friendly fibers have suitable properties like low density, appropriate stiffness, high disposability and renewability.

Producing-Banana-Fiber

Process
The outer sheath from the banana stem is first peeled off, the inner layers are flattened and fibers are stripped off either manually or through machines. Heaps of banana stems are piled up near at the processing unit and workers begin slicing the banana stems into thin strands. These sliced stem pieces are then passed through the machine on the fixed platform that separates the gummy lignin and water content from it. The shredded fiber is then cleaned and dried in the sun before being bundled into yarn that makes notepads, stationery items, lampshades, and handicraft.

Eco Green Unit has developed this machinery by using German technology, which uses 1HP single phase motor to power it. The machines can be easily operated by semi-skilled women, has less maintenance, and safe to operate. Around 5-6 stems are needed to extract 1kg of fiber, depending upon their quality and the water content in them.

Production
India leads the world in terms of banana production, producing around 18% of the worldwide crop of 139 million metric tons (2012). Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the leading banana producing states. Although about 500,000 hectares are under banana cultivation, only 10% of the banana stem waste is processed into fiber. If farmers decide to supply banana stems to these fiber processing units, they would not only clear waste without any cost, but also would benefit from their earnings. They can set up a small-scale unit at a cost of INR110,000, that would employ a few semi-skilled workers. The quality of banana stems cultivated in Maharashtra is found to be ideal for fiber extraction. They are of superior quality and have more brightness and shine when compared to the fibers from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

Green-Innovation-Banana-Fiber-products
Image – ecogreengallery.blogspot.in

Source

Ready Market
Eco Green Unit purchases coarse banana fiber for around INR120-150 per kg depending on quality. This is then processed further to obtain fine yarn that is used in handloom. The unit exports its products to the US, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Germany. The unit feels this material has huge export potential since people in Western countries are keen on buying eco-friendly products. Although there is a demand for 50 to 60 tons of banana fiber each month to meet its export commitments, at present it exports around 12-13 tons a month. However, it would take time before banana fiber products could be sold in Indian markets.

We request you to check this PPT to know more about business opportunities in Banana fiber –

Factfile –
https://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.chiceco.com
http://www.bananafibre.com
http://textilelearner.blogspot.in
http://www.tradeindia.com
http://www.nepal1craft.com
http://archive.indianexpress.com
http://www.ecogreenunit.org

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Goutham Veerabathini
Goutham Veerabathini is a Civil Engineer is very passionate about upcoming green innovations. Being an eco-enthusiast he takes up challenges in promoting social causes. In this regard, he works with an NGO called Street Cause. Goutham also love socializing.

111 COMMENTS

    • Hi Levine Lawrence,
      This is SACHIN from MAHARASHTRA, I am interested to put a banana fiber extracting unit. I would like to have more details about this project.can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is needed.

  1. hi levine lawrence,
    this is venky from hyderabad can you please mail me the details regarding the fiber extracting unit
    and if possible about the areca leaf plates also.
    thank you

  2. Hi,

    Nayan Joshi here,
    i am really excite about
    Banana Fibre Extracting Project

    Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is needed. please contact on following mail ID.
    [email protected]

    Thank you.

  3. Hi Levine Lawrence,
    This is Murali Krishna from AndhraPradesh can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is needed. Please contact on following mail ID: [email protected]
    Thank you

  4. I am really excite about Banana Fibre Extracting Project

    Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is required.

  5. Hi Levine Lawrence,
    This is Murali Krishna from AndhraPradesh can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is needed. Please contact on following mail ID: [email protected]
    Thank you

  6. Hi,

    Im interested in working with Banana Fibre.

    Can you please send me details on where I can procure this fabric.

    Regards,
    Jolyn

    • Hi Jolyn,
      Sure, we will send you details by mail soon. but avoid pasting your email id in such comments which will lead to spam

  7. Hi sir,

    This is Sasi from AndhraPradesh can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is needed. Please contact on following mail ID: [email protected]
    Thank you

  8. I am interest in above banana fibire industry so plz send prooject reprt and other deatails regarding banana fibre mfg machene suppliers in mh and other states in india i am also visit a unit ?and how much plants running plants in india and maharestra

  9. i am interested to know process of recovering fibre from wet banana steam. kindly forward me these details.
    anoop kaul . mobile : 8427111663

    • Hi Fidelis,
      Thanks for your interest. Yes, you can substitute banana with plantain fiber. where are you planning to set up your unit?

    • Hi, you can download the presentation file with details about business opportunities in Banana fiber. i request you submit your email id and download the file

    • Hi,
      you can download the presentation file with details about business opportunities in Banana fiber. i request you submit your email id and download the file

  10. Hi im from East africa living in tamil nadu
    Can you help me to know where I can get paper out of banana trunks as well as training? I am interested to put a banana fiber extracting unit in my country
    please contact on following mail ID:
    [email protected]

    • HI Gervais,
      we have created an Ebook and kept at the end of the article. if you submit your email id, you can access and read about banana fiber in detail

  11. I belong uttrakhand want to wark with my villagers iam interest this project and I have one unit please send market Ing of banana fiber details .
    Goooood one bro

    • HI Sudeep,
      please check the box above where you can submit your email id and get the business details

  12. need information about the machine suppliers, final product marketing, raw material cost, post processing of fibre & its products and technical guidance

    thanks & regards

  13. Hi, there. Great information you have here! Im very interested in reusing my own banana plant left overs. Not sure yet of what is mostly in-demand today in terms of banana fibre. Im going to buy an extraction machine and make fibre. Im thinking of maybe doing wholesale but i’m not sure where to start. Im based in Laos.
    Any help would be much appreciated!

  14. I’m a student and have a difficulty what to write on my feasibility study about this banana fiber business can you help me about the full detials and procedure in banana business hope you can help me about my study as i choose this to represent to my school. Im really interested to this to help also my country about eco saving lives!
    Im looking forward from you! Thank you so much! It’s a big help if you do. Please send me all details i need to know, the cost, processing, etc.

    • Hi Anchie,
      where are you based? if you are in INdia, i request you to submit your email id in the box to access our business opportunities PPT. we cannot send it to individual people.

  15. Hello Sir,
    I want to setup banana paper making unit , can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost .
    Please send all details
    [email protected]

  16. Hello Sir,
    I want to setup banana paper making unit, can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost.
    Please send all details

  17. i am from mp burhanpur in our area we plant banana tree i just want to know how many products we can made from banana tree like banana chips banana fiber and what please mail me details on my mail id [email protected]

    • Hi Ashwin, Thanks for your interest. we have kept a box at the end of the article where you need to submit your email id to get a detailed report on various business opportunities in banana cultivation

  18. i am from ghana in our area we plant banana tree i just want to know how many products we can made from banana tree like banana chips banana fiber and what please mail me details on my mail i

  19. I am from Bangladesh. I want to set up banana fiber project in my country. Pls give me details on mcn manufacturing
    Sources. Also give me marketing scops
    globally.
    Awaiting for your reply
    Reg / Sarwar
    Cell: +88 01682251267

    • HI Sarwar,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box attached at the bottom of the article, you will be able to download a business report on banana fiber

  20. Hi, im from Malaysia i was interesting to know detail banana extracting banana fiber. Can i get the detail information process>

    • Hi,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box attached at the bottom of the article, you will be able to download a business report on banana fiber

  21. Hello am interested to start up a banana fiber extraction unit for making paper bags in Mombasa, Kenya. Please send me more details about it. Below is my email address ;
    [email protected]
    Thanks.
    Regards
    Salim

    • Hi,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box attached at the bottom of the article, you will be able to download a business report on banana fiber

    • Hi,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box attached at the bottom of the article, you will be able to download a business report on banana fiber

  22. Hi Its really nice and sustainable project. Request you to share details for the project with machine and market cost analysis.

    I would really appreciate your support.

    • Hi Vivek,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box given above, you will be able to download a detailed project report

    • Hi Shyam,
      Thank you very much for your interest. if you submit your email id in the box given above, you will be automatically able to download a detailed project report

  23. HI Levine,

    Its Habib here, I am a packaging professional and I am planning to import your eco friendly products and sell across the international market, help me with your product details and advice with your experience,
    [email protected]

  24. Hi

    I would like to know more about banana fibre extraction and further making paper from banana fibre. Can you help me out in gathering information.

    • Dear Mahesh,
      Thank you very much for your interest in banana paper. we have heard a lot about your Elrhino paper. i will surely send you the details by mail

  25. Hi
    I am Shekhar Chaudhari from Nhavi, Jalgaon district. I wish to put banana fibre extracting unit at Jalgaon distict.
    Please send me more information about marketing of these produce. Do you buy it from me?

    • Yes Shekhar,
      we do buy raw banana fiber if you are producing it. if you can produce finished products like mats, we can buy them as well

  26. Hi My name is Ruth Penido and I am from Brasil
    I am very interest in making banana paper.
    Could you send me more information to my email?
    Regards
    Ruth

    • HI Ruth,
      there is a box item at the end of this article named “Free eBook – Business Opportunities in Banana Fiber” please submit your email id to get a detailed report on how to make banana paper

  27. Hi friends

    I saw many conversion on banana pleaae help me on above project even I have interest to work on it and please let us know a marketing potential for fabric if anyone know on this

    Thank you
    Agastya s v

    • Hi Agastya,
      Thanks for your interest. please send us more details about your preferred location, investment value, technical skills, etc to editor @ecoideaz.com

      • Hello Levine,

        I am from southern part of India as we have huge banana growing area and i want to know if we produce banana fiber how to get in touch with buyer. help us on the marketing potentiality.

  28. HI Levine Lawrence
    I am Chirag From Mumbai, i am interested in Setting up banana Fiber Paper unit in mumbai,
    can you help me to setup a new unit. along with i need details for setting up can you mail me

    Thanks in advance

  29. Hi, Mahendra baviskar here, I am interested to put a banana fiber extracting unit. I would like to have more details about this project.

  30. Can u pls send me the details regarding this project. We have very much interest to have plant in our district.
    kutch-Gujarat

  31. Hi sir,
    This is venkatesh living in coimbatore, Tamilnadu. I have a huge interest in setting up a banana fiber extraction unit.
    can you please send me the details of this project.

  32. Hi,
    I am interested in starting this Banana fiber extracting business.
    Can you please send me the requirements for this to start like investment,man power etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  33. Dear sir,
    I am from nepal. Love the concept of eco-friendly innovatin and Interested in importing fiber producing machine and skill to extracting fiber from banana plant.
    Please let me know about the project as well as process.

  34. I am Nagaraj from tamil nadu, I am very interest about banana fiber Extracting Project. Pls send the detail to my mail id

  35. Hi,

    I want to help a group of women from poor families from rural andhra pradesh to form an SHG to make banana fiber, paper and other products. I would like more details what is the cost? will you be able to help in training the people? do supply the machinery as well. I would like to talk to some body from your organization so could you please share a number for me to call.

    • Dr.Chitra,
      thank you very much for your interest in using banana fiber for rural employment. i will send you the details by mail

  36. Hi Levine

    I am from Maharashtra and I am interested in making Banana fibre and paper making project. Will be thankful if you could mail me the details

    Thanks & Regards,
    Amol

  37. Hello Sir,
    I want to setup banana paper making unit , can you Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost .
    Please send all details

  38. I am really excite about Banana Fibre Extracting Project

    Please send me the detailed quotation for the machines and details about the company setup cost and how much man power is required.

  39. Hello sir,

    My self dinesh patel i want to setup banana fiber & paper making unit pl send me detail project cost

  40. Hello Sir,
    I am a banana farmer from Ghaziabad near Delhi. I wish to sell the plants after cutting the fruit.
    Will you please help me by suggesting any nearby buyer for these plants.
    Regards,
    Pankaj Kumar Verma

  41. Hello sir,
    I am very much glad to see such a good alternative for paper. if you could help with some scientific reasons and properties of banana fibre. This will really make understand the concept and move further.
    Thank you

    • Hi Siva,
      i have sent you the detailed report on banana fiber. it is a highly water absorbing fiber which is suitable for table mats, door mats, window curtains, etc.

  42. Hi levine, such an informative blog. Please send me more details about the banana fibre extraction unit. I am exploring this option.

    • By providing your email ID at the bottom of the article and download the Guide. And still in case you have any queries you can get back to us with them.

    • What exact details do you need? Please provide your email and download the Guide at the end of this article.

    • By providing your email ID at the bottom of the article and download the Guide. And still in case you have any queries you can get back to us with them.

  43. Hi, This is Walter here, we help run a Farmers Producers Organization with over 500 farmers who are primarily into the cultivation of Bananas in South Tamil Nadu. I would like more details on this. Could you pls email me

  44. Hi, do you only prepare fibre or do you all manufacture paper also if yes can you please share the process and machinery details.

  45. Hi, am in Nigeria and i also need the detail of the extraction process and the machinery details.

    Pls I will also like any assistance or info for start up

  46. I am interested about this project,we cultivate the bannna trees already in our land ,let me know how much cost to built small unit and whom to contact about this training details can you send The details to email id

  47. Hi, am in sudhir and i also need the detail of the extraction process and the machinery details, and process of making banana paper from fiber

    Pls I will also like any assistance or info for start up

  48. Dear Sir,
    I am from Tamilnadu and I am already in the field of cultivating banana in my village. Came to know about the business opportunity with my bank manager during a discussion.
    It would be grateful to you, if you could provide me additional details on the project.

  49. Hello,
    My client wants a small machine for drying banana stems to moisture content of between 6-10%. Help on way forward please.
    Thanks.

  50. hey my name is sreecharan i want to start a banana paper making scale industry i want more information and i need information more about it could u please send me

  51. Hello Sir.
    Nissar here from Goa. i took this topic as my final year project,m very much interested in knowning more about this machine, can u please share more details on this topic.

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