Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Queen’s researchers can turn bananas into plastic

Researchers in Belfast are turning banana plants into plastic as part of a pioneering study.

The £917,000 work, known as the Bandana project, promises environmental benefits and may increase the profitability for plantation owners and boost job security for workers, one of the university experts said.

Currently, once the fruit has been harvested the plant goes to waste, with tonnes dumped in the Canaries every year.

Household items like wheelie bins and plastic dolls could be made using the new technique.

Mark Kearns, rotational |moulding manager at Queen's University, said: “The research and development of this approach will help create jobs and the banana plantations will ultimately benefit financially from the sale of the remains of millions of harvested banana plants, which would otherwise go to waste.

“It is testament to our expertise in rotational moulding, and strong links with several Spanish Universities, that the Polymer Processing Research Centre has been asked to contribute in this project.”

The technique will be used to recycle the waste products from banana plantations.

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