Areca palms leaves with the sheaths attached to it fall naturally from the trees three à four times a year.
After collect the sheaths need to be dried properly as the sheaths are prone to mold and fungus due to humidity. After the drying process the sheaths need to be cleaned thoroughly in water to remove dirt and dust. This is done manually with a brush. During cleaning the sheaths will absorb water, which will make the sheaths more flexible for pressing.
The sheaths are laid in the machines, whereas it will be pressed into the shape of the dies. These dies will be customizable to make plates of various shapes and sizes. They are heated by an external energy source and will be pressed with a certain amount of pressure, this changes the structure of the sheath particles making them fixed in their shape during pressing.
Several tests need to be executed to check the quality of the plates. To ensure the products are sanitary for immediate use, coliform and yeast/mold testing is done. For checking if the material is safe for contact with food, phytosanitation will occur (with fumigation). Then the level of heavy metals will be tested for both human and environmental concern.
The plates will be packaged in bundles. They need to be kept dry and clean. This is done by packaging the plates in plastic bags. This ensures the hygiene and quality of the plates.
The products are to be tested if they are completely natural, this means no additives, plastics, waxes or glues present in the material. Then its speed and ability to be composted needs to be tested. The speed and ability to be composted lies on a standard of 60% in 90 days. The Areca products will be composted 150% above the standard 2 /3 time. The products are a good source as organic manure, as their composition is approximately; N2 (0,94%), P2O5 (0,096%) and K2O (1,00 %). When compost is mixed with the plate waste it will act as fertilizer. This will result in high quality compost and enhance the plant growth.