If you haven’t heard about it yet, you will surely find a banana leaf packaging weird, but one Thai Supermarket, Rimping Supermarket located in Chiangmai, Thailand, decided that it can make a difference in the over usage of plastic.
This supermarket wraps banana leaves around the veggies and fruits, tie it with a ribbon, and paste a sticker on the leaf with the code and the price. Also, they have a sticker which reads ‘pesticide safe’ to assure customers that the produce they buy is grown in a safe way.
This initiative originated from Thailand street vendors, but now, supermarkets have incorporated it as well.
The use of banana leaves instead of plastic for packaging vegetables will also reduce single-use plastic. This method actually reduces the amount of plastic required, as the fruits and vegetables are simply wrapped in a banana leaf and secured using a flexible piece of bamboo.
Banana leaves are large, thick and supple enough to be folded.
Additionally, another thing to consider is the relative cost of plastic versus banana leaves. Namely, banana leaves are readily available in tropical locations and could be acquired for free depending on the quantity needed. Yet, in areas where bananas don’t grow, local biodegradable products could be a good alternative.
The use of banana leaves to wrap food is not that new, and actually, it has a long history. In some tropical regions of Mexico, people use banana leaves to wrap tamales, and in Hawaii, banana leaves are used during pig roasts to protect the pig from the hot lava rocks. In southeast Asia, these leaves are also used to wrap sticky.
Therefore, since plastic is a huge problem, innovations of this kind are definitely a step forward to a safer and healthier environment.
Plastic has a truly devastating effect on the world we live in. The average supermarket plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans annually, and 500 million plastic straws are used daily in the U.S.
Fortunately, people are becoming aware of this issue, and at least 15 countries and cities around the world have made serious strides in the race against plastic:
- Australia – South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, have banned single-use plastic bags
- Canada – In January 2018, Canada banned plastic microbeads
- Kenya – Anyone in Kenya who is found using, producing, or selling a plastic bag faces up to four years in jail, or a $38,000 fine.
- Zimbabwe – In July 2017, Zimbabwe announced a total ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- Montreal – The Canadian city of Montreal banned single-use plastic bags
- New Delhi – In 2017, it banned all forms of single-use plastic.
- Morocco – The ban was signed into law on July 1, 2016
- Vanuatu – On July 30, 2017, it announced the beginning of a phasing out of plastic bags and bottles.
- Malibu – In March 2018, the Californian city of Malibu’s local council voted to ban the sale, distribution, and use of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, and plastic cutlery
- Seattle – As of July 1, it will become the first US city to enact a ban on plastic straws and single-use plastic utensils.
- Hamburg – The German city of Hamburg banned non-recyclable plastic coffee pods in February 2016
- France – In 2016, France announced a total ban on plastic cups, plates, and cutlery, to be brought in from 2020.
- Rwanda –Rwanda banned plastic bags completely
- The UK – In January 2018, the UK announced a 25-year plan to “set the global gold standard” on eliminating plastic waste
- Taiwan –Taiwan announced the restriction of the use of single-use plastic bags, straws, utensils, and cups