Saving The World One Banana Leaf At A Time

May 24, 2019 | GREEN, NEWS, TASTE, Thailand

A supermarket in Thailand garnered attention from the netizens around the world for the implementation of its store policy which replaces plastic packaging in all of its produce with banana leaf wrappings.

A World Wrapped In Plastic

We have slowly become engrossed with the use of plastic packaging in almost everything that we buy. When we walk into a supermarket, the most common sight we see are products wrapped in plastic. Even fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables are now already sold inside this ubiquitous form of wrapping.

We might very well disregard this issue altogether. However, sooner than later, we might find ourselves living in an ocean full of plastics.

Sad to say, we don’t have to contemplate on how this could severely affect our environment. It’s already happening and unless you purposely shut yourself from hearing the latest news, we always often hear cases of marine life being threatened by the overflowing plastic waste in the sea.

Studies even show that in a matter of 30 years, more than 12 billion tonnes of plastic will completely cover the oceans and fill our landfills.

A Green Initiative

But apparently, all hope is not lost, as some of us still have the heart to change for the better.
The Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand, for example, is strongly implementing a no-plastic-packaging policy in every fresh produce being sold. Instead, the store uses banana leaves.

Banana Leaf Wrapped Produce - Thailand

Banana Leaf Wrapped Produce – Thailand

The pictures posted on Facebook by a Chiang Mai-based real estate company, Perfect Homes, show Rimping’s banana leaf packaging in action.

The simple, yet highly relevant innovation is used to hold together bushels of spring onions, bunch of chillies and peppers, and clumps of leafy vegetables. With the help of what appears to be strings made from the hard and flexible part of banana trunk, everything is tied together neatly in place.

Produce wrapped in Banana Leaf and Straws

Produce wrapped in Banana Leaf and Straws

One can still notice the use of plastic in its labeling, however, the primary use of leaves significantly reduces the need to do it with plastic. As such, this store policy can be seen as a huge step for a greener, plastic-free earth.

A Sustainable Alternative

Interestingly, the use of banana leaves for packing and preserving food has been a tradition being practiced not only in most Asian nations, as it is also prevalent in Polynesian countries like in Guam or Hawaii. It is also being done in Mexico and Jamaica.

In Thailand, the Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai is considered as one of the first to employ the method on a large commercial scale.

While bananas can grow in most regions that have humid tropical climates, Asia is blessed with multiple varieties of this plant. Some types can survive with minimal care, while others have the characteristics to grow very rapidly, in just a matter of months.

In Thailand, for example, they have 30 different varieties of bananas. Even if the country decides to implement this innovation on a nation-wide scale, this resource is still believed to be sustainable and would be difficult to deplete.

Adapting In A Global Scale

We might wonder, can this method be applied globally? We can certainly hope so.

There could be problems with this approach especially in western countries where banana fruits have to be exported, let alone the leaves! These materials, despite its nature-friendly properties, aren’t as readily available as compared to here in Asia.

But then, Rimping supermarket’s initiative should serve as an inspiration for everyone around the world to get creative and come up with alternative ways to help save our environment.