Seminar: Banana Pseudo Stems - commercialising biodegradable paper and sanitary towels

Start date
End date
Online & Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden Room 0.B04

The last industrial revolution has seen the advancement of technology and products that have had a devastating effect on the environment. As industries and consumers become more aware and concerned of the environmental pollution and prevention, there has been more focus on renewable and biodegradable resources of raw materials to develop new eco-friendly products based on sustainability principles.  Researchers have reported that natural fibres sources provide indisputable advantages over synthetic reinforcement materials, such as low cost, low density, non-toxicity, comparable strength and minimum waste disposal problems. Various experiments have been carried out on non woody fibres globally with relative success. Banana fibre has also become potentially a viable source of pulp and fibre for preparation of various packaging, textile and architectural materials.

In this project, a team of researchers including ASCL visiting fellow Jacqueline Kisato (Kenyatta University) will map and characterise banana pseudo stems found in the Kenyan ecosystem, fabricate machinery and prepare packaging and sanitary towel samples. A human centred design approach will be used in designing and iterating the final packaging and sanitary towel products to meet consumer needs. The team will develop business models that can be used by entrepreneurs in the adaptation and use of the banana pseudo packaging and sanitary towel manufacturing. This project will be beneficial to the banana value chain and to stakeholders in academia, industry, environmental organisations, upcoming entrepreneurs as well as government agencies. We envision that the project will not only create new knowledge but shared value for both economic and environmental indices by spurring growth of the  manufacturing sector in Kenya, in line with the Big 4 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Dr Jacqueline Kisato is a lecturer in Fashion Marketing at Kenyatta University and a visiting fellow at Leiden University. She holds a PhD in E-Marketing in Fashion MSEs and is a Master trainer in entrepreneurship in partnership with a German university and UNESCO. Jacqueline’s research mainly focuses on E-marketing and sustainable entrepreneurship for micro and small enterprises in African countries. She has trained entrepreneurship trainers in universities, high school and civil society in various countries (Lesotho, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Madagascar) since 2015. The entrepreneurship project is an evidence based project funded by UNESCO in partnership with various universities with a focus on action training. She is currently evaluating the impact of the training across Kenya, Djibouti and Madagascar since the inception of the training in 2016. The focus of her work is mainly researching on how to build sustainable and innovative businesses that leverage technology and have a positive impact on the environment.

Date, time and location
25 October 2021,15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 0.B04

This event will take place both online and physically in Leiden. All registrees will receive a link to the online platform one day before the start of the event.

Click here to register for this event