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Go bananas: Green Blade transforms banana trunks into veneer

Green Blade is a new veneer material made from the trunks of banana plants

A new veneer product has been launched which transforms waste from the banana production industry into a sustainable surface material.

Green Blade is made from the trunks of banana plants and can be used as an alternative to wood.

Normally, once bananas are harvested, the trunk is left to decompose. The production of the veneer utilises this waste product. Once the bananas have been harvested, the trunks are bought from the producers to be made into the Green Blade veneer. The head of the plant, which cannot be manufactured into veneer, is left in the field to rot, replenishing the nutrients in the soil.

French designers Vladimir Hayot and Nicolas Cheminon have developed an innovative technical process which allows for the transformation of trunks in small units located on of banana plantations. To make the veneer, banana plant trunks are sliced and hand assembled into sheets in a factory powered entirely by photovoltaic panels.

Available in four different colours, these are produced through the choice of trunks, rather than by adding dyes and chemicals.

The finished veneer can be used to create architectural panels, kitchen surfaces, and furniture.

This abundant resource, until now unused, is recycled and using the banana trunks results in less deforestation. The plants are fast-growing, making them quick to replenish. A banana plant grows to full size in less the 9 months.

From the Caribbean, the product is certainly not locally sourced for UK-based projects, but its manufacture is an approach worth watching.

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