Smurfit Kappa, a leading provider of paper-based packaging solutions, has expanded its range of sustainable and biodegradable products with the launch of BanaBag, an innovative product addressing the quality assurance required for excellent bagging during the banana plant’s growth cycle.
According to Smurfit Kappa, the BanaBag is a unique solution for organic producers since it protects the fruit from disease and insects, whilst also reducing overheating resulting from the use of materials like plastic.
The BanaBag is made from cellulose, which acts as a natural insulator to the growing bananas, maintaining product quality even in higher temperatures.
"In addition to advantages in the farming process, BanaBag is the right choice for banana producers that are supplying international markets where consumers are demanding sustainable products with traceable production processes and supply chains,” the company stated. “The BanaBag is 100 per cent paper-based, making it renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and importantly, it can be used as compost for the soil.”
Laurent Sellier, chief operating officer of Smurfit Kappa Europe Paper and Board, commented: “At Smurfit Kappa, we are committed to innovation and the development of paper-based sustainable products that support our customers in the improvement of their processes and products. With a continuing drive to make a positive impact on the agricultural sector with innovative solutions like BanaBag, we aim to positively contribute to better outcomes for farmers who are moving towards more sustainable methods.”
Juan Guillermo Castaneda, CEO of Smurfit Kappa The Americas, added: “Some of the largest banana exporters in the world are in South and Central America where we operate. Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are on the list of the ten countries that export more than 80 per cent of the world’s bananas, mainly to European markets. This challenges producers to continuously adceapt to the fast-paced trends of consumers who want to be reassured that the products they buy and consume are sustainable.”
Louis Hesselholt, manager of Dominique Banana in Santa Marta, Colombia, commented: “Our job is to carefully handle the fruit in the production process so that it arrives in the best possible condition at its final destination – whether international or local.
BanaBag perfectly matches the needs of our plantation by reinforcing the organic characteristics of our export product and contributing to our goal of eliminating 100 per cent of all contaminant plastic waste from our farms.”
According to Smurfit Kappa, the use of non-sustainable materials at Dominique Banana had been a huge challenge for the company due to difficulties in recycling and the problems of land pollution. In addition, plastic bunch bags commonly overheated the fruit, contributing to losses. By introducing the BanaBag in the Campo Alegre and Granja plantations, quality was reportedly increased, post-harvest recycling optimised and the soil fertilised due to the BanaBag's compostability.
In addition to the BanaBag, Smurfit Kappa’s sustainable products for the agricultural sector include AgroPaper for eco-friendly mulching in crop growing, the SoFru corrugated pack for berries and Safe and Green biodegradable trays for fresh fruit.