ABN AMRO facilitates growth of elephant grass

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From this week, shoppers in the Netherlands can buy their tomatoes in packaging made of what is known as ‘elephant grass’. And they’ll be doing the environment a good turn too, as elephant grass – whose fibres are marketed as vibersTM – has a great many ecological advantages and is an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic.

ABN AMRO has been in on the vibers venture from the start. “Working closely with the entrepreneur, we developed a growth plan to upscale production,” says Hein Brekelmans, Head of ABN AMRO’s Sustainable Finance Desk. "We encourage entrepreneurs to consider circular business models and this is a great example. We’re delighted to contribute to the growth of vibers.”

Benefits for the environment

Elephant grass absorbs four times as much carbon per hectare as a forest of trees. Once harvested, it is turned into raw material for packaging materials and it fits in very well into existing production processes. Better yet, this kind of packaging is biodegradable, meaning that a tray made of vibers – recognisable by the seedling logo – can go straight into your composting bin.

Great interest

Jan-Govert van Gilst, the man behind VibersTM, reports a great deal of interest in the new material: “Supermarkets, manufacturers and the packaging industry are all showing a keen interest in this unusual packaging material. Vibers is an excellent alternative to plastic packaging and easy for manufacturers to use in existing equipment.”

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