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  • Bananas are one

  • of the world's most wasteful crops.

  • And these giant stems are a part of the problem.

  • Farmers typically burn them,

  • but that pollutes the air.

  • So instead, one company in Uganda

  • has figured out how to pulverize them into fiber

  • to make rugs, place mats, even hair extensions.

  • So could bananas become a green alternative

  • to cotton or silk?

  • We visited the headquarters of TexFad

  • in the outskirts of Kampala to find out.

  • Every banana stem only fruits once in its lifetime

  • before it rots or catches a virus.

  • And for every ton of fruit,

  • plantations produce 2 tons of debris.

  • But in those mounds of refuse,

  • Kimani Muturi saw potential.

  • He founded TexFad in 2013

  • after discovering his love for handweaving in college.

  • I cannot finish using the waste

  • that is out there. It's too much.

  • First, workers cut the stems

  • into celery-shaped chunks

  • and leave them out to dry in the sun.

  • Then they feed those strands

  • into an extractor, like this one.

  • This is a crucial step,

  • and the only part of the process

  • that requires machinery.

  • And it's not cheap.

  • This units costs anywhere from $1,000

  • for a used one to $10,000 brand new.

  • That price presents an obstacle for expanding this business.

  • The rest of the work is done by hand.

  • The extracted fibers dry again

  • until they feel like a silky yarn,

  • but one that is as strong as rope.

  • At this point, it's also ideal for dyeing.

  • The final stop is the weaving shed,

  • where the making of household goods

  • and handicrafts begins.

  • Some of the designs on these rugs

  • are inspired by traditional East African patterns.

  • Other products are custom-made for clients.

  • It can take up to a month to weave a rug.

  • The price varies,

  • but many start at around $500.

  • TexFad employs 23 people

  • and even offers an internship program for students.

  • The problem that we have here in our country,

  • we study, we get our degrees

  • but we don't have opportunities.

  • Esther Ainebyoona has been

  • at the company for about a year.

  • She started as an intern

  • and is now one of the main weavers.

  • Why I like the people I worth with,

  • it's because they are motivating. They help.

  • There are different groups of people around.

  • It's a very good thing because

  • you interact with people of all ages.

  • Banana textiles have been around for centuries

  • in countries like the Philippines, Nepal, and Japan.

  • But TexFad is one of the first companies

  • to bring it to Uganda.

  • And the potential is huge,

  • because the country produces more bananas

  • than any other in East Africa

  • about 9 million tons every year.

  • That's about 5 tons of fruit

  • for every person in Uganda.

  • I will never get worried

  • that I won't have materials tomorrow

  • as long as we Ugandans are eating bananas on a daily basis.

  • And while Kimani's business has grown

  • over the past eight years,

  • it isn't enough to make a dent

  • in the $30 billion global banana industry.

  • Environmentalists say that composting the stems

  • into fertilizers would be a more immediate solution.

  • It prevents dehydration,

  • it prevents deforestation,

  • and it gets a richer soil,

  • and richer soil is a more healthy banana.

  • Many farms do that,

  • but chopping the stems requires tough manual labor.

  • So for most farmers in Uganda,

  • getting rid of them is easier and faster.

  • Still, these kinds of textiles are biodegradable

  • and are a more sustainable alternative

  • to other popular fabrics.

  • Banana fiber absorbs dyes better than cotton,

  • which means it needs less water and less land to produce.

  • But the special equipment

  • and expertise hold back this method

  • from becoming more widespread.

  • It could spread over the world

  • if more machines are found and developed

  • that actually makes such thin material

  • that you can use it for the clothing industry.

  • Because currently, it's quite hard to do so.

  • And not a lot of machines have been developed.

  • Or it's costly.

  • Still, Kimani dreams big,

  • even during a pandemic.

  • I'm just imagining if there was no COVID,

  • I think we would be a little further than we are today.

  • And he's always innovating.

  • There's no rocket science in what we are doing here.

  • No, even people who come to learn here,

  • they don't take much time to learn.

  • But this is just the beginning.

  • I can tell you that banana fiber is the next fiber,

  • the next fiber in terms of sustainable.

  • The fibers for fashions

  • are not just for fashions. For everything.

Bananas are one

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B1 中級 美國腔

香蕉廢物如何變成地毯,織物和接發(How Banana Waste Is Turned Into Rugs, Fabric, And Hair Extensions | World Wide Waste)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 25 日
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