Commercial producers use expensive plastic banana bunch bags that often are impregnated with insecticides to protect banana bunches. The Italian manufacturer PATI, a division of Guarniflon Spa, has designed in collaboration with his RSA distributor, FILMFLEX, a biobased banana bag that, after use, can be left on the ground or composted and is totally biodegradable.
It can be a sound solution in the case of a lack of a recycling centres and it avoids plastic pollution.
As Mr. Pezzon, agroplastic manager at PATI said, the trial is being held in RSA and the bags made of MaterBi®, a bioplastic created by Novamont, will be used instead of regular plastic bags to evaluate the agronomic results, the longevity of the bag and biodegradation at the end of life service.
Bio Banana bags are placed on the banana bunches and help to prevent sunburn on the outside of each bunch; they protect banana leaves from wind “scuffing” to the exterior fruit skin and they enhance uniformity and encourage ripening.
Mr. Keith Hartley, owner of FILMFLEX Plastics, has been distributing in South Africa the biobased black mulch from PATI for many years and he is confident that this new application of biodegradable plastic will take place in the coming years. “We are promoting these trials in the area outside Eshowe KZN, an important bananas growing area, where we can test all the conditions in field!”