Fabrication of a Sustainable Biodegradable Packaging Alternative for the Fashion Industry from Banana Waste

  • Stephanie Kobehlo Musombi Kenyatta University
  • Mercy Wanduara, PhD Kenyatta University
  • Jacqueline Kisato, PhD Kenyatta University
Keywords: Packaging, Banana Stem Fibres, Potassium Hydroxide, Pulping, Fashion Industry
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Packaging has both functional and aesthetic purposes. Kenya requires more sustainable biodegradable packaging options after a plastic ban was introduced in 2017 affecting numerous industries such as fashion. Banana stems and peels are part of the waste produced in Kenyan farms, suggested for the construction of biodegradable paper packaging material for the fashion industry. The objectives of this study were: to extract banana stem (BS) fibres using a decorticating machine; pulp the BS fibres using banana peel lye (KOH); and construct samples of paper packaging material from the pulp treated with KOH. The research design for this study was experimental. Kiganda banana stems collected from Kisii County were used in this study. The paper packaging material was constructed by pulping the BS using the KOH as a delignification reagent and then converting the pulp to paper by mounting it on mesh frames to dry. The findings reveal that in BS fibre extraction, decorticating one banana stem takes 10 minutes yielding 105 g of dry BS fibre. It also revealed that the handmade paper-making process takes 8 hours and 12 minutes including drying time to create an A4 size paper with the majority of the time (8 hours) being used for drying. The yield from the KOH pulped BS fibre was determined to be 68%. It was clear from the findings that KOH is comparable to commercial industrial alkalis like Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) as a delignification reagent for BS fibres as it yields much pulp which produces good packaging material. Part of the recommendations for further research include the exploration of an industrially scaled paper-making process by the paper packaging manufacturing industry using KOH to pulp BS fibres. It is also suggested that research be done on using non-decorticated stems and varied concentrations of KOH to establish the most economical method


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15 February, 2024
How to Cite
Musombi, S., Wanduara, M., & Kisato, J. (2024). Fabrication of a Sustainable Biodegradable Packaging Alternative for the Fashion Industry from Banana Waste. East African Journal of Business and Economics, 7(1), 23-33. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajbe.7.1.1758