Complete pineapple waste solutions including decortication for textile production
The pilot project will be led by Chequered Flag in partnership with and Mananasi Fibre and aims to intercept approximately 4 000 tonnes of organic pineapple waste per annum produced from plantations owned by Del Monte Foods.
The pilot will drive the following outcomes:
- The removal of fibre (decortication) of pineapple waste for the recovery of fibres that will be used in the textiles value chain. This aspect of the pilot is implemented in partnership with Anam UK Limited and aims to produce approximately 120 tonnes of fibre per annum.
- Producing 5,000 tonnes of organic compost from pineapple waste per annum.
Decortication of pineapple fibre is a relatively new technology in the region and success in this pilot will serve as a base to test other organic waste streams where it may be applicable.
The organic waste produced from pineapple processing is traditionally dried and burnt. The pilot will avoid open-air burning of dry organic waste, therefore beginning the process of eliminating air pollution from Del Monte Food pineapple processing activities. The smoke produced from the pineapple waste fires drifts into these areas of dense inhabitation where the fine particulate and other products of combustion can cause a range of health problems. The practice of burning the plant waste is detrimental to the next rotation of pineapples in that it depletes the soil of vital nutrients.
Photo credit: Chequered Flag
Site establishment began immediately, and the site is fully established and operational. The first 6 months of piloting included a process of refining the decortication equipment and ensuring that appropriate health, safety and environmental management practices were in place.
The project has shipped fibre samples to Ananas ahead of the production and shipment of the first batch of fibres, by the end of 2023. There is potential local market interest in the fibre as well.
As of the of September 2023:
- Approximately 3 metric tonnes of pineapple waste was diverted to the site from the plantations.
- 31kg sample fibre was produced.
- 0,45 metric tonnes of compost was produced from the waste produced during the decortication
- 29 people have been employed by the project.
The project is also working with a group of women weavers, exploring opportunities for new local product development using pineapple fibres.
Mananasi Fibre participated in the Circular Economy conference hosted by KEPSA and Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya in Nairobi on 9 November, showcasing the solution during the panel discussions on “Regenerative Agriculture, Textile & Organic Circular Solutions”.