Exploring the Potential: Utilizing Banana Stems for Sustainable Sanitary Pad Production
The Amsha Africa Foundation (AAF) has played a pivotal role in fostering partnerships for sustainable sanitary pad production across East Africa.
Recognizing the importance of menstrual health and environmental sustainability, AAF has collaborated with local NGOs, communities, and government agencies to explore the utilization of banana stems as a viable material for sanitary pads.
Through these partnerships, AAF has facilitated knowledge sharing, research, and pilot projects to test the feasibility and effectiveness of this innovative approach. By working closely with stakeholders across East Africa, AAF has been able to leverage regional expertise and resources, contributing to the development of sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions that empower women and promote ecological preservation.
These collaborative efforts highlight AAF’s commitment to creating meaningful and impactful change in the region’s menstrual health landscape.
From Stem to Pad: The Process of Creating Sanitary Pads from Banana Fibers
Creating sanitary pads from banana stems involves a process that utilizes the natural fibers found in the stem to create a absorbent material.
While there are various approaches and techniques, here is a general outline of the steps involved. This was from a process our partners developed – see video below.
1. Harvesting and Preparing Banana Stems:
– Select mature banana stems and cut them into manageable lengths.
– Remove the outer layers of the stem to expose the inner fibers.
– Separate the fibers from the stem by carefully scraping or pulling them apart.
2. Fiber Extraction and Cleaning:
– Collect the extracted fibers and wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities.
– Soak the fibers in water or a mild cleaning solution to further cleanse them.
– Rinse the fibers multiple times until they are clean and free from debris.
3. Fiber Treatment and Sterilization:
– Optional: Boil the fibers in water to further sanitize and soften them.
– Sun-dry or air-dry the fibers until they reach the desired moisture content.
– Treat the fibers with an antibacterial agent or natural disinfectant to enhance their hygiene properties.
4. Forming the Sanitary Pad:
– Arrange the treated fibers into thin, uniform layers to create the absorbent core of the pad.
– Consider adding additional layers or materials for extra absorbency or comfort, such as cotton or bamboo fabric.
– Use a non-toxic adhesive to bond the layers together securely.
5. Shaping and Packaging:
– Cut the formed pad into the desired shape and size, following the standard dimensions of sanitary pads.
– Wrap each pad individually with a biodegradable or compostable wrapper.
– Package the sanitary pads in eco-friendly materials, such as recycled paper or biodegradable plastic.