The circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by intention, designed for reducing the carbon footprint and employing a more sustainable and eco-friendly use of resources. BAQUA aims at implementing the circular economy through spanning the value of the banana crop ensuring the use of wastes, by means of compounds extraction, in other industries.

Once the bananas have been harvested, organic wastes (mainly banana pseudostem) are usually left in the plantation, producing a problem of waste accumulation for the forthcoming harvesting and having no nutritional value for the soil. BAQUA aims to valorise this waste by extracting natural fibres and using them in 100% biodegradable materials (sleeves for protection and bags for aquaculture) and as natural additive for high volume production sectors.

Moreover, during fibres extracting process, an important byproduct is generated: the pulp. Different studies show the high interest of banana crop wastes due to its high content in antioxidants, but nowadays they have been rarely used as feed for some cattles (goats). The extracting process of fibres benefits the use of pulp in the production of fish feed, since this type of animals needs very little content of substances difficult to digest, like fibres. So that, the pulp obtained after the extraction of fibres seems to be a good natural antioxidant source alternative to other synthetic ones.

Banana and aquaculture in the Canary Islands are two basics pillars of its economy. In fact, around the 50% of European production of banana is covered by Canary Islands, where the area under banana cultivations is about 9,131 ha. With the industrialization of the extraction line, 2,000 t of fibre and 20,000 t of pulp can be obtained from banana crop waste, providing a great quantity of fibre for plastic compounding and bioactive compounds for fish feed. Being a place with a privileged climate, and taking into account the closeness between the mainland and the islands, the empowerment of these markets will bring a benefit for the whole continent. By-products of banana can be exploited within the Canary region itself to produce fish feed and biodegradable packaging. This local impact will be reflected in the other participating regions with respect to the utilization of biodegradable materials.