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.