This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste

(Volodymyr Hryshchenko, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Harry Kretchmer, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • The abaca tree, a relative of the banana, produces fibre that’s being made into COVID-19 PPE products, including facemasks.
  • Conservationists say single-use plastic PPE is adding to marine pollution.
  • Abaca fibres – used in banknotes, teabags and Mercedes Benz cars – are as tough as polyester but break down organically.
  • Philippines is leading producer of abaca fibre, delivering 85% of global supply.

In the Philippines, long golden fibres from the abaca tree hang drying in the sun. They could be part of your next face mask.

According to Bloomberg, the Philippine government expects demand for biodegradable abaca to grow exponentially in 2020, with 10% of all production being diverted to medical uses. Factories are doubling output.

It comes as the consequences of single-use plastic PPE are becoming clear. There are reports of plastic face masks washing up on beaches, adding to the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year.

 

Plastic Ocean

[…]

via This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology – europeansting.com

3 thoughts on “This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste

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