Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis

Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis

Typically, leaves degrade within a few days making these a poor alternative to plastics but Banana Leaf Technology, invented by 20-year-old from Tamil Nadu, can make it last longer
Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste CrisisSay goodbye to single-use plastic with Banana Leaf Technology invented by a 20-year-old scientist from Tamil Nadu that makes banana leaves stronger, last longer for upto 3 years and reusable for multiple purpose everyday use

New Delhi: With rising global concern over the increasing plastic waste and the harm being caused by it to the environment, governments around the world have started banning single-use plastic and thereby pushing the need to identify eco-friendly alternatives. In a bid to provide an eco-friendly and zero-waste alternative to single-use plastic, 20-year-old Tenith Adithyaa, a scientist from a remote village of Watrap, Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu has invented ‘Banana Leaf Technology’. This technology enhances the physical properties of banana leaves which can help in using it to replace plastic and paper and can last up to three years. Not only can this help in tackling the plastic crisis and saving trees from being cut for paper making, it can also become fodder for the cattle at the end of its use instead of becoming a burden on the landfill. The banana leaf technology can also help farmers gain additional income as the commercial use of banana leaves increases.

Also Read: Say No To Plastics: Government Looks To Junk Plastic Water Bottles

Social Empathy At The Age Of 10 Got Tenith On The Path Of Inventing The Banana Leaf Technology

While talking to NDTV about his journey, Tenith said that it all started at the age of 10, when he got to know that farmers in his village throw away large chunk of banana leaves and only a fraction is utilised for domestic use. On observing that most farmers in his village were poor and were looking for methods to increase their income, he felt that banana leaves which are discarded in large numbers everyday, can be put to some commercial use which can add to the farmer’s income.

So when most children of his age were still learning basic mathematics and science, Tenith was already spending after-school hours experimenting with various ways in which banana leaves could be made more valuable. Soon he realised that along with raising farmers’ income, it can be used to tackle two major environmental problems of the world – single-use plastic and the resulting waste crisis.

At the age of 18, he became the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of his startup, Tenith Innovations Private Limited, has received many national and international accolades for the ‘Banana Leaf Technology’. He said,

We are habitual of using plastic plates, straws, cup, polythene and packaging and their paper alternatives that are used only once and create a lot of waste, so I came up with an idea to replace these with banana leaves. The technology preserves banana leaves for over three years without the use of any chemicals. It also increases its durability. Preserved leaves can resist extreme temperatures and hold more weight than the original ones. The manufacturing cost of these plates and cups is very low and they can also be used as manure or fodder at the end.

Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis
Being completely organic and chemical-free, banana leaves processed using Tenith’s technology, can be used as animal food

Owing to economical, innovative and environmental impact of this technology, Banana Leaf Technology’s innovation has received over seven international awards and two national awards including the prestigious International Environmental Awards, International Green Technology Award, and the Technology for the Future Award, among others.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu Gets Its First Smart Dustbin To Tackle Plastic Waste, 500 More To Follow

How Does the Banana Leaf Technology Works?

According to Tenith, Banana Leaf Technology is a cellular eco-friendly technology. It uses a combination of processes for natural preservation. He said,

In this technology, the cells in living organisms are made to stop in such a way that its metabolism is stopped and this enables the organism to stop ageing. Metabolism includes the activities of the cells in order to maintain life like respiration, movements, growth among others. These processed leaves are 100 per cent biodegradable, healthy, human-friendly, completely eco-friendly and are a viable replacement for disposables.

He explained that typically, leaves and biomaterials degrade within a few days after which it gets extremely dry and can be easily crushed into crumbs. This makes leaves a poor alternative to plastics and paper.

Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis
In normal conditions, banana leaves dry up within three days

Banana Leaf Technology aims to address this problem by enhancing the physical properties of leaves to make them last longer and in a more eco-friendly way. He said,

Initially, the research was more about how can we increase the lifespan of the leaves so that we can give the farmers a way to utilize this part of the plant. Once I started researching towards this, after some trials and errors, I came up with a technology I was able to expand the lifespan of the leave and in addition to this, I was also able to increase the properties of the leave to a certain extent. The banana leaf technology is able to transfer the leaf into a material that can replace plastic and paper.

Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis
Banana leaf processed using banana leaf technology, after one year
Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis
Processed banana leaf after three years

He further said that this technology creates materials that can be used to make products suitable for any application like an ice-cream cone, envelope, gift wrap, plates, spoons, cups among others.

Replacing Single-Use Plastic, One Leaf At A Time: This 20-Year-Old’s Invention Can Help Tackle The Rising Plastic Waste Crisis
A range of items can be produced from banana leaves which can replace plastic and paper

Also Read: The Top Priority Of All States Should Be To Eliminate Single-Use Plastic By 2022, Says Environment Secretary

It’s A 100 Per Cent Biodegradable And Low-Cost Alternative To Single-Use Plastic, Says Tenith

Tenith asserted that the cost of producing material and making alternate products from banana leaf technology is very cheap. He said,

For manufacturing a straw from banana leaves using banana leaf technology, the cost is only 10 paise per straw while the manufacturing cost of a plastic straw is 70 paise. Similarly, manufacturing a plate from banana leaf will cost around Rs. 1 while manufacturing of a plastic plate costs Rs. 4. In the international market, there is even a bigger a difference as the plastic straw costs around $2 and a plastic plate costs around $4.

While Tenith Innovations Private Limited has patented banana leaf technology, it is not producing mass products for sale. According to Tenith,

We are technology developers. So we produce the prototypes and provide licenses to the manufacturers. There are three companies around the world that are using our technology- one from USA, one from Thailand, and one from Canada. We are currently in discussions with a few companies in India as well but nothing has been decided yet.

According to Priti Mahesh, experts on plastic waste at Toxic Links, a Delhi based non-governmental organisation working towards environmental issues, if the technology invented by Tenith can be scaled up for mass market, it could potentially put a dent in the entire plastic waste problem while saving life on land and water. She said,

In South India, banana leaves carry a traditional significance and is also used as plates by many but after one use, it is discarded. Tenith’s technology can be very useful in enhancing the use and value of the leaves. If the leaf can be used for a long time and for multiple purposes, it will definitely reduce the use of plastic and paper and is definitely good for the environment in the longer run.

However, Ms. Mahesh pointed out a challenge that banana leaves are not easily available in North India and so if this technology is used commercially in the northern parts of the country, it will become costlier and may not attract manufacturers and users. She also expressed concern over the bulk procurement of leaves from the trees which may cause harm to the tree.

Tenith clarified that banana trees produce and shed leaves in large quantities that can easily cater to the market demands and so there is no loss to natural life. He highlighted that if used as a replacement for disposables, banana leaves can prevent the destruction of billions of trees caused due to the large scale use of paper, cardboard and plastic.

Also Read: Indian Oil Corporation Close To Plastics-To-Oil Tech Breakthrough

World

6,03,21,440Cases
2,02,30,230Active
3,86,71,119Recovered
14,20,091Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 191 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 6,03,21,440 and 14,20,091 have died; 2,02,30,230 are active cases and 3,86,71,119 have recovered as on November 26, 2020 at 3:37 am.

India

92,66,705 44489Cases
4,52,344 7598Active
86,79,138 36367Recovered
1,35,223 524Deaths
In India, there are 92,66,705 confirmed cases including 1,35,223 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,52,344 and 86,79,138 have recovered as on November 26, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

17,95,959 6,159

85,488 1,250

16,63,723 4,844

46,748 65

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

8,78,055 1,630

24,909 278

8,41,432 1,333

11,714 19

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

8,64,674 831

12,673 351

8,45,039 1,176

6,962 6

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

7,74,710 1,534

11,520 355

7,51,535 1,873

11,655 16

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

5,78,363 6,491

65,234 695

5,11,008 5,770

2,121 26

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

5,45,787 5,246

38,287 214

4,98,780 5,361

8,720 99

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

5,33,355 2,305

24,876 948

5,00,835 1,328

7,644 29

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

4,66,991 3,528

24,752 128

4,34,067 3,605

8,172 51

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

3,16,001 730

6,212 14

3,08,102 728

1,687 16

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,66,904 862

10,784 102

2,54,676 961

1,444 3

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

2,53,767 3,285

26,320 1,123

2,25,229 2,144

2,218 18

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,31,539 694

5,225 328

2,25,077 362

1,237 4

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

2,29,203 1,877

24,676 1,861

2,01,744

2,783 16

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

2,24,489 2,197

20,948 183

2,01,250 1,972

2,291 42

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,12,021 182

3,277 63

2,07,766 117

978 2

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

2,01,949 1,540

14,287 243

1,83,756 1,283

3,906 14

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

1,98,284 1,773

13,742 763

1,81,345 996

3,197 14

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,48,435 770

7,129 295

1,36,622 444

4,684 31

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

1,08,158 237

2,160 82

1,05,040 316

958 3

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

1,07,819 489

5,264 93

1,00,892 570

1,663 12

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

72,642 482

4,658 20

66,799 450

1,185 12

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

47,193 125

1,281 60

45,229 61

683 4

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

36,820 51

540 51

35,671

609

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

36,566 837

7,875 725

28,106 99

585 13

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

32,578 50

767 23

31,441 73

370

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

24,133 193

3,248 73

20,640 115

245 5

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

16,925 77

1,127 1

15,532 77

266 1

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

16,174 30

968 36

15,157 66

49

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

11,513 59

915 22

10,488 37

110

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

10,991 60

1,467 6

9,463 66

61

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

8,119 91

886 32

7,125 56

108 3

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

4,819 42

236 2

4,481 44

102

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,677 10

137 5

4,479 15

61

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

3,765 20

441 1

3,319 21

5

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,327 2

35 2

3,290 4

2

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0 0

0

0

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