Inauguration of the plastic recycling factory Ecoban

From bunch bags to corner boards – recycling banana plastic


Grupo ECOBAN’s banana plastic recycling plant was inaugurated on Thursday, 10 February. The plant is located on the terrain of the APPBOSA cooperative, in the village of Samán Grande, in the municipality of Marcavelica, Sullana province, Piura region, Peru.


Inauguration of the plastic recycling factory Ecoban

The factory could be set up thanks to co-financing from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the supermarket CACTUS from Luxembourg and the governmental Innóvate programme of Peru; and the close cooperation between the NGO Solidaridad, Tulipán Naranja (the subsidiary of AgroFair in Peru), and AgroFair. The construction and opening of the factory was preceded by a long process in which AgroFair and local partners looked for ways to clean up the banana plastic.


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Video opening of the recycling plant

“Plastic pollution is becoming such a big problem that governments can no longer ignore it. At the beginning of March, a global environmental conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, to discuss working towards a binding international treaty on the use and sustainable management of plastics. “But in the meantime, we as AgroFair can already take our own responsibility and work together, including with our fellow competitors, to make the Peruvian banana sector plastic contamination-free,” said Hans Willem van der Waal, managing director of AgroFair, in his speech at the opening of ECOBAN.

“Plastic used in the production is collected, cleaned, granulated and melted into corner boards that we use again to make pallets.”


The factory in Peru can make a start on the sustainable disposal of banana plastic there. It is estimated that 20 million plastic bunch bags are used in the plantations every year, about 400 tonnes. With the capacity of ECOBAN now installed, about 20% of this can be recycled, and more than 2,000 containers (of the 10,000 containers of bananas annually) can be exported with corner boards made of recycled plastic, each year.

However, the ambition of ECOBAN goes much further. The idea is to expand the recycling capacity to clean up all the region’s banana plastic.


Recycled corner boards

“In the words of the newly appointed  manager of ECOBAN, Martin Carreño: “ECOBAN has now arrived not only to provide a solution, but also to be an integral part of the chain. That is the fundamental idea”.

ECOBAN is more than a recycling factory, first of all, it is a common effort. The whole recycling project is the result of collaboration between many organizations. Perhaps the greatest potential impact lies in further expanding this collaboration, as a building block of sector-wide efforts to tackle joint problems and make banana production and trade chains more sustainable and fairer, in the interest of everyone. The ‘ECOBAN experience’ shows that this works!

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Close cooperation between many proud partners


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