Kosrae delegate brings sustainable development idea to Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Kosrae delegate brings sustainable development idea to Guam

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Courtesy: Facebook Courtesy: Facebook

Matt Simpson is a Festival of Pacific Arts delegate who moved to the island of Kosrae eight years ago. After years of teaching opened his eyes to a need in the economy, he eventually founded the sustainable company, Green Banana Paper.

"The exports that Kosrae has are not really sustainable, they're kind of from limited resources like fish and things like that," he explained. "So what I wanted to do was create jobs and opportunities, help my community and also use a natural resource that's sustainable and rapidly renewable. And in abundance and it's feasible, and it's feasible for almost any island in the pacific which is the message that I wanted to share here at FestPac."

He said when harvested, banana trees are cut down and left to waste. His company recycles and reprocesses these trees into unique and lightweight goods including women's wallets, passport wallets, artist prints, cards, and paper. "Banana fiber trees have 90% water their whole life, so it's like a real durable natural thing we have in abundance in Kosrae," he said.

After years of research he began building his eco-factory two years and imported custom machines from India and New Zealand. He said, "We have an eco-factory that we buy the trees from the farmers, and we've worked with over 70 farmers so far."

FestPac is the first time his products have been featured off-island, and he's hoping to find local retailers to partner with in the future. For more information you can email info@greenbananapaper.com or visit the company on Facebook or Instagram.

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