Economy, Sci & Tech

Thai University Develops Bowls From Leaves

Thai University Develops Bowls From LeavesThai University Develops Bowls From Leaves

Concerns over the rising use of polluting Styrofoam containers around the world has encouraged a research team at Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, northern Thailand, to develop a process for making impermeable and degradable food bowls from leaves.

Lecturers from the engineering faculty spent more than a year developing the process, finally producing firm, usable bowls from leaves to replace foam containers, Bangkok Post reported.

Through trial and error, the team found that leaves of the thong kwao (bastard teak), sak (teak) and sai (banyan) trees are the best to use for making these containers.

The bowls can hold hot water without leaking and it will degrade naturally in the weeks after being discarded.

Sirintip Tantanee, the faculty's dean, said the faculty will coordinate with the municipality to promote the use of these patent-pending bowls at the provincial annual food festivals organized during Songkran and the New Year.

Samorn Hiranpraditsakul, a lecturer in industrial engineering, said the inspiration to develop these environmentally-friendly containers came during a visit to the North where she saw the huge piles of polluting Styrofoam food containers. The team used starch to add a gloss to the leaf plates, which will be unveiled during the Songkran festival in April. They come in a range of shapes. The development of such products could be commercially enhanced in future, as governments crack down on the growth of environmentally harmful Styrofoam garbage.