International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, Vol. 13 (2023) No. 5, pages: 1917-1923, DOI:10.18517/ijaseit.13.5.19031

Upcycling the Banana Industry in Ecuador: A Methodology to Estimate Organic Waste Availability and a Catalogue of Potential Biodegradable Products

Moisés Pool Segarra Jiménez, Ibon Tobes


Ecuador is the leading exporter of bananas globally. This industry generates a large amount of organic waste since the plant is cut down for every crop, but only the fruit bunch is used. These residues can be converted into sustainable environmental products that could replace polluting materials. This investigation presents a GIS-based methodology used to estimate the biomass of the residues of banana agriculture in Ecuador and to determine how much organic waste could be used as raw materials to manufacture new biodegradable products. We estimated that more than forty million metric tons of waste are produced every nine months. Our methodology can be a low-cost quantitative complement to the survey-based estimations conducted by the Ecuadorian government to evaluate banana production. Additionally, our work presents five products that could be manufactured with organic waste, like disposable plates, bioplastics for food utensils, cardboard covers, fibers for hydraulic cement, and wallpaper. Finally, we offer a product catalog developed as a technical guide for future bio-enterprises to elaborate biodegradable products inspired by a circular economy scheme. In light of the estimated amount of banana waste generated in the country, we consider that Ecuador has the potential to develop an industry based on this raw material to generate products such as those proposed in our review, shifting the banana industry to a more sustainable, profitable process, and generating new incomes and sources of employment.


Circular economy; agricultural residues; biomass; banana; biodegradable products

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