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Game Changers: High School Girls From Ghana Make Paper Out Of Plantains To Save The Environment

By Parker Diakite

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As Ghana deals with a clogged plastic waster problem, 24 high school senior girls from the Methodist Girls High School collaborated to launch an environmentally friendly business that serves as an alternative to plastic.  

The students are changing the “sustainability game” by transforming banana and plantain stems into paper bags under Akoma Inc.

In an interview with Citinewsroom, two members of the team, Maame Yaa Ohene-Eku and Naa Shormeh Nortey, said they came up with the idea in their school’s entrepreneurship club after identifying the environmental damage that plastics cause.

Through research,  “we found that Plantain stem had the fiber that can be used to manufacture paper,” Shormeh Nortey told the media outlet.  

The transformation process involves taking the stems of the plant and drying them before cutting the stems into pieces.  Next,  they are boiled and then the boiled stalks are milled for the pulp. The stems are then left to dry again before it turns into the paper. 

According to Citinewsroom, one stem produces about 50 brown paper bags, which is also known as uncoated craft paper that can be used for packaging and boxes.

Their group, Akoma Inc., already has interested buyers but the girls are in need of equipment like a new milling machine, a blender, and a V Type cutting and creasing machine to meet with production demands.

Instagram | Akoma Incorporated

“Our product is ready for market and if we are to produce at a larger scale, in the next 10 years or five years,  I see this company not only making money but helping the country in the sense that we are creating jobs and also extra income for farmers.  So, the future of our business is really bright.”

The girls told Citinewsroom that their most important support base will be the Ghanaian people.

“We will make more if Ghanaians purchase made in Ghana goods.”

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