Green Banana Paper founder is back on Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Green Banana Paper founder is back on Guam

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He is the founder of Green Banana Paper - a company sustainably manufacturing world-class vegan products from agricultural banana waste in Kosrae.    

If you attended the Festival of the Pacific Arts back in 2016, you may remember a booth with products from Green Banana Paper- a company founded by Matt Simpson. The company, based out of Kosrae provides 25 full-time jobs providing a livelihood supporting over 100 people. Also, 100+ farmers earn extra income from banana trees that would otherwise be waste.

"We are a sustainably sourced paper that tries to make a social impact," he explained.  All of the products feature banana fiber paper, which is a naturally beautiful and strong plant based material that is sustainably sourced from banana trees grown at local farms in Kosrae. Simpson and all the employees are working hard to give the island something to be proud of.

"We make all kind of products, wallets, corporate gifts, we are always looking for new ideas and ways to evolve and ways to spread our message, our story and connect with the rest of the world," he said.

Simpson's story is an inspiring one. He arrived on Kosrae in 2008 as part of the World Teach Program after leaving chilly New England for a more tropical lifestyle. He would teach at the only high school in Kosrae for four years and would soon realize that there were few business and job opportunities on island.

"Our primary goal is to create jobs, work with the community to generate new revenue from outside economies and bring it into the small islands," he said.

And with the business in its fifth year, Green Banana Paper shows no signs of stopping, as he said, "We've got products at Bonita Baby right now and we ship a lot to Guam. Guam has really been our number one supporter next to Hawaii and it's been really wonderful to connect and receive that support from an island that really gets it."

Simpson was here as part of the University of Guam and Bank of Hawaii's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Entrepreneur Series entitled From Waste to Wealth. "We hope to work closely and this is an exciting opportunity for green banana paper to talk with all these young people interested in sustainability and entrepreneurship," he said.

To find out more, you can check out www.greenbananapaper.com.

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