Goodbye to single-use plastic, hi to banana leaf
“For those who live with science, space is not even the limit"- Tenith Adithyaa
Tenith Adithyaa is a teenage scientist, researcher, software developer, motivational speaker, science campaigner, professional coin collector, Guinness world record holder and a teacher. At the age of 21, he has 19 inventions. As the founder of the social innovation movement 'Let's Innovate youth', he has empowered more than 89,000 youths worldwide since 2010. He is the first Innovation Scholar of India and the inventor of Banana Leaf Technology, a cellular technology to create eco-friendly materials.
Being part of the global scientific community, he functions as an international jury and an academic consultant overseeing scientific innovations. He bagged international reputation and numerous awards for his scientific contribution and social services. Tenith presides as the CEO of Tenith Innovations and heads a global organisation of innovators and change-makers.
Starting his scientific journey in second grade, Adithyaa spends most of his time in his lab to come up with various solutions and innovations that could help the society at large. While lying on the hospital bed, he told his parents, 'Science needs sacrifice', which frightened his parents so much that they never allowed him to work with chemicals thereafter. But, truly dedicated to his passion for science, he continued his research.
He came up with an innovation called the Banana Leaf Technology, which increases the shelf life of banana leaves to almost three years and is completely eco-friendly. When asked about the banana leaves products Adithiyaa said: 'Goodbye to single-use plastic, say hello to banana'
More than half of the world's plastic and paper are utilised for single-use products, resulting in an annual cut down of 7 billion trees. Disposables, on average serve their purpose for just 10 minutes and ends up as trash, ultimately in the oceans. Mother Nature offers us everything we need; it's up to humankind to make the right choice. Our failure to grasp the effect of the absence of an alternative biodegradable disposable material has been fuelling this climate epidemic so far. Nature and mankind should coexist in every aspect to create a sustainable civilization.
Excerpt from an interview
Are the banana leaf technology products bio-degradable?
Yes, 100%. The biomaterial and the products made from it are free of chemicals and completely organic. The products are healthy, human-friendly, food-grade and compliant to the regulations of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). These properties make it an excellent choice for animal fodder and an economically viable food for farm animals.
What problems are you solving?
Plastic and paper are the key players in the current environmental crisis. More than half of the world's plastic and paper are rapidly utilised for single-use products and ends up as trash across the globe, solving this root cause will be a critical game-changer in the fight against climate change. This is the problem we are currently focusing to solve. Solving this problem creates a ripple effect in the environment and economy, covering more than 14 global environmental challenges and results in the circular economy across various industries.
Can you replace all single-use disposables?
This technology creates materials that are completely customizable to make products suitable for any application. We are currently capable of producing more than 30 products that significantly dominate the disposable markets. Still, we cannot replace all the paper and plastic consumption in the world. We make a humble initiative to combat disposables that are responsible for more than half of the world's plastic and paper usage, but ultimately, it is in the hands of humankind to change the tides.
Are these products rackable and exportable?
Yes, all the products made from this biomaterial are of export standard. They can be stored for a long time and can be shipped across nations. The materials are rackable, thus saves huge storage space. The trackability of each product depends on its product design.
Can customised products be made using banana leaves?
Yes, it is possible to manufacture any product as this is a biomaterial and the products can be customized according to the manufacturer's design.
Is this biomaterial a writable medium? Yes, this material is a writeable medium, but they are not as efficient as paper in the sense of color and surface texture. Can this technology be applied to other plants as well? Yes, this technology can be applied to any biological material, since it is a cellular enhancement.
How long will it take for the processed leaves to decompose completely?
The environment, under which it is placed, plays a key role in the shelf life of the product. If it is trashed in a degrading environment, it decomposes in a timeline similar to a natural leaf.
What is your raw material?
We currently use banana leaves as raw materials as they are abundant in nature and a commercially viable choice, but this technology can be applied to any biomaterial present in nature.
Is this material a cost-effective alternative?
Our mission is to solve the global climate crisis without compromising the economy. The production of the enhanced biomaterial from leaves is by far the most cost-effective biodegradable alternative. The additional cost of the product varies by its product design and add-on features like additional mechanical strength and added compliance. We are always dedicated to creating eco-friendly sustainable products that are price-competitive in the current global market.
Variable cost plays a vital role in determining the cost-effectiveness of the end product, hence it is always advised to carry out mass production with optimized operations to ensure effective marginal cost.
Are banana leaf products durable?
Yes, they are. The durability depends on product type, design, and configurations. The enhanced biomaterial is capable of handling both static and dynamic loads as equivalent to its non-eco-friendly counterparts.
Are you commercially mass-producing the biomaterial from the technology now?
No, we're not. Since banana leaf preservation technology is applicable to numerous materials and applications, the usage of these products is countless. They cover various industries and it is an alternative to most fast-moving consumer goods. Because it is an FMCG, no single company can produce and deliver global needs alone. We vision a cost-effective biodegradable choice that must be available to all human beings regardless of their geographical and economic boundaries. Hence, we currently sell the tech license worldwide to any company that shares the vision, to make this planet a better place for all living beings.
Can a company purchase a license for this technology?
Yes, any commercial or non-commercial company can purchase the license to this technology by technology transfer. The license will be granted for a lifetime to operate worldwide.
How do you see your future?
I am inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's life. After reading about him I decided that I will not be a Scientist only, but I will become an inventor who makes people's lives better. I want to become an aeronautical engineer and a space scientist like Dr. Abdul Kalam and like Stephen Hawking.
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Our core vision is to become the largest centralized collection of human knowledge where all world knowledge is pooled for the greater good of humankind. Altruu's short-term objective is to redefine the way of information networking and to emerge as a young billion-dollar enterprise with a zebra landscape. A novel eco-friendly technology to keep leaves green for 1 year without any chemicals to replace plastic
Naturally, leaves and most biomaterials degrade within a shelf lifespan of three days and are discarded as waste. Banana leaf technology is a cellular eco-friendly technology that preserves leaves and organic biomaterials for a year without the use of any chemicals. This technology enhances the leaves' physical properties thus making a viable biodegradable material alternative to both plastic and paper.
Increased in their durability, stretchability and crushability, preserved leaves can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than their original nature. The preservation capability of leaves with natural green color is for a period of up to one year and an extended shelf lifespan of three years without its natural color.
The technology enhances cells, strengthens cell walls of leaves and prevents pathogenic agents from destroying the cells. These processed biomaterials are biodegradable, healthy, pathogenic resistant, human-friendly and completely eco-friendly. A viable replacement for disposables, it prevents the destruction of around 7 billion trees annually.