Bioplastic from banana peels

Hi all, long time since I posted something on the forum! Hope you’re all doing well.

I was wondering whether someone has tips and tricks for making bioplastic out of banana peels. I’ve been checking out some videos and tutorials on this type of bioplastic and the process for making this typical brownish plastic (e.g. ) is pretty straightforward.

However I was wondering whether anyone has gone beyond this process and tried to make a better looking version of it?

Thanks for the input!

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Hei hei. Maybe @shravan has some info or ideas since he’s been involved in banana stems processing for other materials? I can guess lots of research went into that :slight_smile:

Ahh our experimentation was a lot more rudimentary to make paper :slight_smile: .

We mainly dabbled in the banana fibre and I do remember my partners, a while back, worked with someone for a test piece of a bio-plastic with about 5% banana fibre and 95% corn starch. It looked nice but it wasn’t very viable, and more concentration of banana fibre was unfeasible (I can’t remember the reason)

@JasperB I am not sure how it works with the banana peel (the only thing I think we played around with this was making dyes for shirts) but my reckoning is that the stem allows you to separate the constituent parts of liquid, pulp, and fibre more effectively to work around with than the peel, which is a lot more mushy / mixed and harder to separate out, could be why it does not form in a cleaner manner. That’s about all that I’ve got to contribute I’m afraid :slight_smile:

Oh I’m sure that’s useful… and you know you have a volunteer here still ready to go to Zambia and learn some craft :stuck_out_tongue:
How far along in this are you @JasperB ?

Brief update on this. Today we had a very inspiring biomaterial workshop (from Nel, aka little pinkmaker) and we made a first version of a banana peels bioplastic. The end result from the first trial was still a bit brittle, but it looks promising. Here is already a picture from a lasercutted sample (credit little pink maker: ). We’ll post the recipes for making these kind of bioplastics on the biofabforum one of the coming days!

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I couldn’t see the image that you shared from facebook. It should most probably be the privacy setting. I suggest that you try to extract starch from the banana peel. If it works I believe it shall have a light color (white maybe) and you can use 100% banana starch to make your plastic. I did not try it myself. I imagined it could work based on a video about extracting starch from potatoes. =D

Reposting the picture here, I’ve got access :slight_smile:

Photo credit: @Littlepinkmaker

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Hey folks! - so extraction of starch doesn’t work because you are removing the fibers needed to bind it - Also it’s the fibers that make the material not the starch - the binder in this case was the agar as I mentioned in the class. - I would recommend using a smaller amount of bannana say 1/4 of the peel per 150ml as per recipe 1486 that I shared with you :slight_smile:

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Here you see my bannna plastic is the blue version it’s alot different also thinner (you get the hang of it with time)