Conversion of waste (banana & used clothes) into value added textile products through R&D and innovation
In line with government vision to make clean, green and pollution free Pakistan, Vice Chancellor, UET Lahore, Prof. Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar has directed UET’s faculty to conduct research related to above area and develop solutions to the local problems. Therefore, UET Lahore, Faisalabad Campus, Textile Engineering department formed the R&D team led by Dr. Mohsin (Chairman, Textile) & Dr. Aamer (Assistant Professor) and final year BSc textile students (Mr. ammar, Mr. Farhan, Ms. Insha, Mr. Ubaidullah, Mr. Ali, & Mr. Ahmad Mueen) to conduct the R&D related to local waste which can be converted into value added textile products. We are well aware that in Pakistan mostly plant and other waste is burnt which leads to further pollution and toxic smoke and in winter it creates lot of problems in our country.
Banana is a major fruit crop of Pakistan. It is grown on 34,800 hectares of land with production of 154,800 tons annually. Banana trees live for about five to six years, but each stem only lives long enough to produce fruit once. After picking the fruit, the stem will die and a new one will grow from the plant. Portions of Banana plant are dumped as waste and sometime burnt. On average 9100 Kg of waste is produced from a single farm in a year. Despite the ease of availability and low cost, banana fiber is technically harsh and difficult to convert into yarn, fabric, and dyed form, therefore, its usage is limited worldwide and especially in Pakistan. However, UET Textile team has developed the innovative and chemical free process to overcome the above technical issues. Banana fiber was blended with cotton and yarn was produced at the state of the art mini spinning lab which is first and only of its kind in Pakistan. Fabric was also produced and dyed with natural dye (rather than conventional synthetic dye) by using UET Textile department another IP based technology, thus making the whole process bio based and organic. Consequently, all the technical issues have been overcome and final value-added product is produced. Banana fiber is cheaper than cotton, raw material is easily available rather wasted, it has additional antimicrobial properties and top brands are asking for such sustainable products and willing to pay the premier price. This technology is not only sustainable, but it can make Pakistani textile industry more competitive with the attraction of more top brands.
Global production of textile is more than 920 billion annually. The demand of clothing is increasing day by day due to more fashion and human population growth. However, it is also leading to huge consumer waste, pollution and damping problem as well. Pakistan is also a highly populous country and consequently, generate huge textile post-consumer waste as well. Globally, less than 1% textile is recycled back to textile due to technical reasons. UET Textile team has successfully developed the recycle yarn, fabric and even successfully dyed it with its own IP protected novel natural dyeing process with success at their advance textile labs. Mixing of recycle fiber with cotton will lead to significant saving of cost as well. Almost every top brand is pushing for recycling and it could provide an additional advantage to our textile industry by adopting our latest developed technologies. In addition, it will make our country more clean, green and pollution free by better utilization of its waste and can promote the value-added textile products with the label of “Made in Pakistan”.