In an attempt to phase out the use of plastic plates, a new product called Bio Plant, started by a couple of Peruvian entrepreneurs, uses banana leaves to manufacture biodegradable dishes. Chewa Plant, lead by Josué Soto and Rolf Torres Lizárraga, aims to manufacture and commercialize the disposable dishes to help reduce plastic consumption and the pollution it causes.
The company’s first product, Bio Plant, are rectangular-shaped plates made free of stryene and other carcinogenic components, which can both be found in plastic and styrofoam plates. They decompose in two months and naturally degrade within those 60 days.
The company, which won Bio Challenge – a program created by Innóvate Perú that supports the development of innovative solutions by sustainably using the resources of the country’s biodiversity – received co-financing from the program. With the money, Bio Plant was able to acquire a presser, a shipper and a die cutter – machinery needed for the production of the biodegradable dishes. Chewa Plant currently manufactures 50,000 Bio Plant dishes monthly.
The dishes only use the leaves that break off or fall from the banana trees when clusters of bananas are harvested, so no trees are cut down or harmed for production.
Soto and his team work directly with banana farmers in the Peruvian Amazon, who receive fair prices and who are cross-trained in order to take advantage of banana cultivation, True Activism reported. Currently, the biodegradable dishes sell for between 100 to 120 soles ($29.64 to $35.56) per 100 dishes and have been tested within various regions in Peru.
Chewa Plant aims to enter Bio Plant into the markets of eco-friendly restaurants and beverage companies.