There is an upsurge of young people taking on the cause of climate change. Our news and social media is flooded with youngsters and students taking on the streets, spreading awareness and demanding action for sustainability of earth’s resources. It is perhaps an apt time to look in house at some of our very own young innovators who are making an impact and doing their bit for the environment.
One such inspiration is Tenith Adithyaa M. Currently the CEO of the social network Altruu, Tenith is a ‘serial innovator, teenage scientist, researcher, software developer, motivational speaker, science campaigner, professional coin collector, Guinness World Record holder and a teacher at the age of 20 with 19 inventions’. One such important invention is the Banana Leaf Preservation Technology.
About the Technology
Banana Leaf Technology is a cellular eco-friendly technology that can preserve leaves and organic biomaterials for a year without using any chemicals. Leaves and many biomaterials have a small shelf life and they perish usually within three days. However, with this innovation, the leaves can be preserved for a year in its original state and for three years without their natural color. The technology also increases the durability, stretchability and crushability of leaves and biomaterials which can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than their own. These processed biomaterials are biodegradable, pathogenic resistant, healthy, human and animal friendly.
What does this mean?
The Banana Leaf Technology hence provides for an excellent alternative to disposable items, such as plastic cups and plates. Today, plastic remains one of the main problems of our environment, essentially because it takes more than 7,30,000 days to degrade and get back into a natural process. This leads to landfills and is harmful for animals and natural habitats. On the other hand, using paper alternatives has its own disadvantages, such as deforestation. Thus, the technology enables to use a 100% biodegradable alternative that makes our environment, pockets and ultimately our conscious happy and at ease.
Some startling facts
Just to understand why plastic and paper items and disposables should be avoided, here is taking a look at some shuddering facts. More than half of the world’s plastic and paper is used for single-use products. This leads to an annual cutting of 7 billion trees.
Disposable items are not used for more than a few minutes or hours but they are discarded or put into trash immediately after use. Think about birthday parties, where piles of paper plates or plastic spoons end up in the dustbin in a matter of a couple of hours. The discarded plastic ends up ultimately in ocean or landfills which add to the total garbage of 1 billion tons per year.
With only 50% of world’s plastic being disposable there are estimates of 500 billion plus disposables being used every year. Out of this 32% of the packaging products find themselves in the ocean and 20% of landfills are in fact, caused by plastic alone.
Benefits of the Banana Leaf Technology
The fact that the technology provides a natural alternative to plastic and paper packaging is its biggest advantage and benefit. Couple that with it being chemical free, organic and not in any way causing deforestation, landfills, waste productions, as well as, it being degradable and back in the soil within 28 days of discarding makes it worth using. If you don’t want to throw away the product, you can also feed it as fodder to animals. Also, quite cost effective with 0.01 USD as processing cost of a single leaf, this technology definitely merits attention.
There is a vast possibility of using the processed banana leaves and biomaterials to produce packaging, as well as, any other kind of products. For now, the various products include banana plates, cups, cones, boxes, envelopes and of course, the leaf itself to create or customize into more items.
The processed biomaterial can replace multiple products in many industries and as of now is used in over 30 products with limitless applications. In fact, any commercial or non-commercial company can purchase the license to this technology by technology transfer. The license is granted for lifetime to operate worldwide.
How did it all start?
Finally, let’s go back a little when it all started. The Banana Leaf Technology was formulated in 2010 by the then 11 year old Tenith who resided in rural South India. The technology was experimented and made in his homemade laboratory and his will to ‘revive the forgotten traditional South-east Asian practice made this research an emotional struggle to the inventor that he longed to make global habit in this modern era’.
It began when Tenith saw farmers dump leaves as thrash and the question arose, ‘can these leaves be enhanced biologically?’ to fill up a big economic and environmental void. By trial and error which lasted a year, Tenith was finally able to realize his dream of preserving the leaves without any addition of chemicals. The technology advanced as a cellular enhancement after four more years of research and development. The first international award for this technology was awarded at the Global Invention Fair in Texas in 2014.
Maybe it is time to consider substitutes that are not harmful to our environment and surroundings. It is time to join a movement and thought process that has been on for many years and do our bit to ensure that we are rightful citizens of this natural planet. In fact, it is high time, that we start seriously examining alternate technologies which are safe, healthy and eco-friendly. If nothing else, we can at least, acknowledge and appreciate people like Tenith Adithyaa M whose inspiring works are probably the best way forward.
We are hoping to create awareness about our initiative and its impact on nature. If our initiative shares your passion towards environment, please do consider publishing about our green technology on your platform.
Tenith Adithyaa M
Inventor & Innovation Scholar of India
CEO, Altruu Social Network