Papyrus Australia has developed a technology that turns banana waste into paper. Banana trees produce fruit once year, and are then cut down, so banana fiber is an abundant waste product. Papyrus makes the banana paper using an economical process that uses no chemicals, no water, and about 1% of the energy conventionally used. The company is preparing to tap into what it believes is a potential multi-industry global empire. Others have produced paper with banana fiber content, like Costra Rica Natural, but their paper only contains 5% banana fiber.The founder of Papyrus Australia, Ramy Azer, learnt the ancient technique of developing paper from papyrus reeds in his native Egypt. Azer says: "What has caught the eye of international markets is not banana papers' ingredients, but its versatility. It is waterproof and believed to be up to 3,000 times stronger than wood-pulp paper, meaning it can be used in packaging and even as a basis for building materials. Wallets, hats, bags, clothes and even furniture are also in the pipeline."
[by Justin Thomas]