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Rwanda’s banana trunk adds value to paper-making industry

The banana plantation that grows in major part across Rwanda is famous for being among the highly consumed staple crops in the country thanks to its multipurpose uses –culinary and wine brewing a group of four local young entrepreneurs have increasingly turned to the plant for eco-friendly paper packaging bags.The  Rwandan entrepreneurs who founded the company dubbed “UMUTI Paper” are  now using banana and plantain trunks that are left over after harvest  season to create  environmentally friendly bags.

The Rwandan entrepreneurs’ business idea came after realizing the effects of human activities on climate change.

While  over 400 million tonnes of paper people use for writing are produced  annually, and 93 percent of them come from Timber, and continuing at  this most likely rate, it will take less than a century to deplete the  entire tropical forests, which accounts for a third of global oxygen  production and serves as habitat to most of our wildlife species,” said  the team of startups in a statement.

Banana production in Rwanda  averages at about 2.5 million metric tons per year. The crop is grown on  about 165,000 ha and occupies 23% of all arable land in the country,  according to the results from the latest Seasonal Agricultural Survey  reports released in 2019.

Rwanda Environmental Management  Authority (REMA) have measured bag impacts taking into consideration  materials, manufacturing, use, and disposal or recycling in Rwanda.

After  assessing the whole life cycle, experts found that recyclable bags to  be the number one recommended in protecting  the environment and saving  money.

Increasing environmental consciousness is not the sole  reason for Rwandan shops now adopting green policies: the government has  adopted new laws that will affect consumers.

Rwanda has been  plastic bag free since September 2008. The East African country  completely banned plastic bags when other countries around the world  started imposing taxes on plastic bags.

Rwanda is one of few   African nations imposing restrictions on single-use plastic bags.  Africa is taking the lead in such rules, possibly because it has no  strong plastics-industry lobby and exports very little plastic, reports  said.

Published on 28.04.2020

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