Let’s hope that more and more people can come up with more innovative and newer solutions to replace plastic. This surely is an amazing first step. A real estate company in Chiang Mai, Perfect Homes, posted photos of the banana leaf packaging to their Facebook page and it quickly gained widespread attention.
Of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. This, along with projections of rapidly increased plastic manufacturing, has led to global attention to single-use plastics. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that by 2050 there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills, the environment, and oceans. Of this waste, cigarette butts, plastic drinking bottles, food wrappers, and plastic grocery bags are the biggest contributors.
The use of banana leaves instead of plastic for packaging vegetables is a great way to reduce single-use plastic. While it looks like they use some plastic for adhering the label, this method significantly reduces the amount of plastic required. They are simply wrapped in a banana leaf and secured using a flexible piece of bamboo. Banana leaves are a great alternative to plastic as the leaf is large, thick and supple enough to be folded.
One thing to consider is the relative cost of plastic versus banana leaves. In tropical locations, banana leaves are readily available locally and could be acquired for free depending on the quantity needed. In more temperate locations the use of banana leaves could be significantly more expensive than plastic. However, using local biodegradable products could be a good alternative in locations where bananas don't grow.
The use of banana leaves to wrap food in has a long history. In some tropical regions of Mexico, tamales are wrapped in banana leaves. Hawaiians use banana leaves during pig roasts to protect the pig from the hot lava rocks. They are also used to wrap sticky rice in South-East Asia.
The World is slowing getting obsessed with the rampant use of plastic. Stepping inside a supermarket, all we see is heaps of plastic. Even single pieces of fruits and veggies these days are wrapped all around by plastic. We might ignore this issue altogether but very soon we might be living in a sea full of plastics.
Chiang Mai, Thailand is the new hub of start-ups. And Digital Nomads, hover to this place like bees. Rimping is the Supermarket that is trying to break out of the norm of using single use plastic and trying to find an innovative and alternative solution to this growing problem. This alternative way is albeit interesting as a packaging material that can very well replace plastic.
Being situated near the equator, Thailand is a haven for Banana plantation. So, this new method is using banana leaves to wrap up the packaging and prevent the use of plastic in excess. It is definitely not a completely fool proof method just yet as very small amount of plastic is still required in this new technique of packaging. But this is definitely a very viable and efficient first step in the reduction of plastic waste and plastic packaging.
Supermarket Ditches Plastic Packaging For Banana Leaves.