A supermarket in Thailand is leading by example. They have come up with a brilliant idea to reduce plastic packaging. This is mainly with the help of replacing plastic packaging with banana leaves.
The packaging with banana leaves has been inspired by the Rimping supermarket in the Chiang Mai city of Thailand. ‘Perfect Homes’ is a real estate company situated in Chiang Mai. They had recently posted several photos of banana leaf packaging on their official Facebook page. Soon enough, the photos had garnered widespread attention for all the right reasons.
Well done Veggie first and Rimping. Let’s hope there are more great ways to cut plastic!
Posted by Perfect Homes Chiangmai on Thursday, 21 March 2019
At a time when the world is gradually being choked by plastic waste, Thailand is setting an example for others to follow. Supermarkets are typically engrossed in plastic items and contribute the largest amount of plastic pollution. The water bodies are slowly turning into a river of plastic and we can only see vast stretches of plastic waste floating in oceans.
Starting from single-use plastic products, to every man-made item contains plastics which are widely used because it is convenient and cheap. Soon we will be living in a sea of plastic unless we take some immediate dramatic measure and change our unsustainable way of living.
Read: Quitting Single-Use Plastics: A Major Step Towards Building A Safer World
Break The Unsustainable Pattern Of Plastic Packaging
An estimated 9 billion tonnes of plastic is produced and merely 9% of that is recycled. This gives us a clear picture of the increased plastic manufacturing practice and the huge concern of plastic pollution. The Environment Programme of the United Nations has estimated that there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills, oceans, and our environment by 2050. A large part of this will be plastic packaging.
The use of banana leaves to replace plastic packaging of fruits, vegetables, and food items is a sustainable way of reducing single-use plastic. This is a wonderful way of reducing the amount of plastic waste, the supermarkets do use some kind of plastic label.
The food products or other items are simply wrapped in banana leaves and secured with the help of a flexible piece of bamboo. In addition, banana leaves are an excellent alternative to plastic packaging due to the reason that the leaf is quite large in size. Furthermore, the leaves are thick and agile enough to be folded to carry groceries.
Thailand is a tropical nation and banana trees are in abundance. This new technique of using banana leaves for packing is a viable option to reduce plastic waste.
Read: Banana Peels Utility Is Displayed By Sarah Harbath In Her Effort For Sustainability
Thailand Leading By Example
However, the one significant thing to consider is the relative cost of banana leaf versus plastic. Even though banana leaves are readily available, the supermarkets demand huge quantities. The temperate regions will have a higher cost of banana leaves as compared to the tropical locations that avail them locally and free of cost.
Nonetheless, banana leaves are locally found and biodegradable alternatives where banana trees are grown. The use of banana packaging instead of plastic packaging has a long history. Some other tropical areas including Mexico that grow banana trees, also use banana leaves to wrap food items. Hawaii also uses banana leaves to wrap their sticky rice and pig roast.
Thailand has earned huge praises from all over the world for coming up with such an eco-friendly packaging method. This novel idea has also caught the attention of the supermarkets of Vietnam who are greatly inspired. Many places have already opted to discard plastic packaging with banana leaves to wrap loose produce.
Perfect Homes had posted photos of cucumbers, green beans, chili, peppers, lettuce, and other produce wrapped in banana leaves. The supermarkets in Chiang Mai also offer reusable tote bags for heavier grocery items.