Paper project using pineapple seen cutting plastics use

Paper project using pineapple seen cutting plastics use

December 3, 2019
Marcia González

A plastic-free packaging material made from pineapple leaves helps lessen agricultural waste, and provides more livelihood to farmers

An arm of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hoping to raise farmers’ incomes by using waste material from the pineapple-growing process to make specialty paper that has the potential to replace plastic packaging.

The DTI’s Design Center of the Philippines calls the initiative the ‘Pinyapel Project’, after the Filipino words for pineapple (pinya) and paper (papel).

“The Pinyapel Project began with the intent of maximizing the use of agricultural waste to improve the livelihood of farmers, address concerns on dwindling natural resources and offer alternatives to plastic, collaborate with local enterprises, and consequently, show to the world what the creative and design mind of the Philippines can do,” said Rhea O. Matute, executive director of the Design Center.

Design Center was established in 1973 through Presidential Decree No. 279 to develop, promote, and enhance the design of the country’s manufactured goods. The Pinyapel project is led by its materials research and development team.

Pinyapel uses material left over after the pineapple harvest. Development started in 2018 and is ongoing.

On 6 November 2019, Pinyapel was cited by the ‘D&AD Future Impact Awards 2019’ for its potential impact on environmental sustainability.

“The inspiration behind the product is the growing packaging needs. According to the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, our country will not be ready to phase out plastic use until cost-effective alternatives are available,” Matute said.

“Sustaining the use of pineapple leaves in paper production will ultimately contribute to changing the lives of pineapple farmers and laborers,” she added.

Pineapple leaves were sourced from Nature’s Fresh Pineapple, Inc, which cultivates 300 to 400 hectares in Aglayan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. It can produce about one to five tons of pineapple leaves per month, with 57kg yielding about 88 sheets of 70cm x 100cm Pinyapel.

Pinyapel can also be turned into corrugated cup sleeves and gift bags.

Project studies indicate the potential to generate about P1,753 (US$34) in extra income weekly for seven laborers per five tons of waste product, though production is not yet on a commercial scale.

The preparation process consists of drying, collecting and bagging.

“Our country will not be ready to phase out plastic use until cost-effective alternatives are available,” Matute concluded. “Pinyapel offers to become one of the solutions to plastic waste by becoming an alternative material for packaging applications since paper.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

 

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