Thai supermarket uses banana leaves instead of plastic

This supermarket in Thailand has been praised – for using banana leaves instead of plastic packaging.

The Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand, has been praised over the environmental idea which sees groceries wrapped in the natural by-product.

Seven branches of the chain have adopted the eco-friendly packaging while dozens of stores in neighbouring Vietnam have also copied the idea. They include Lotte Mart, Saigon Co.op, and Big C stores.

Footage taken at the supermarket yesterday (25/06) shows how fruit and vegetables are wrapped in the banana leaves, which are sourced from farms and would otherwise be composted.

The wrapping is then secured with a small string-like piece of bamboo.

A spokesman for the supermarket said customers had been ‘’very supportive’’ of the idea.

They added: ‘’All of our stores use banana leaves on our fruit and vegetables. It is the most environmentally friendly form of packaging.

‘’We have many concepts of how to make sustainable packaging. We will use recycled paper boxes and not plastic bags.

‘’It’s very pleasing to see our ideas being followed by other stores. We will continue using banana leaves as a form of packaging in all of our stores.’’

In Vietnam the Lotte Mart chain said that they are still in the testing phase of using banana leaves as packaging but are planning to replace plastic with leaves nationwide very soon.

One customer, Hoa, said: ‘’When I see vegetables wrapped in these beautiful banana leaves I’m more willing to buy in larger quantities. I think this initiative will help locals be more aware of protecting the environment.’’

Environmentalists have praised the initiative. In tropical countries, banana leaves are readily available locally and can often be acquired for free.

More than nine billion tonnes of plastic is believe to have bee produced in the world so far but only nine per cent has been recycled.

The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that by 2050 there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills, the environment, and oceans. Cigarette butts, plastic drinking bottles, food wrappers, and plastic grocery bags are the biggest contributors.

The most noticeable effect of plastic pollution is on marine life in the world’s oceans, where creatures like whales and dolphins can be killed by swallowing plastics.

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