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Thailand Supermarket Says No To Single-Use Plastics, Wraps Produce In Banana Leaves

by Rudy Sanchez on 03/29/2019 | 1 Minute Read

Banana is a particularly versatile plant; not only is it a food source, but the leaves of the plant have been utilized for food packaging and as a surface for serving a meal.

In the 135 countries with tropic and sub-tropic climates where bananas grow, the leaves are plentiful and sustainable. It’s thick, durable, flexible and waterproof, and food can even be cooked inside of the leaves, which imparts a subtle, sweet flavor. Even with the advent of plastic and aluminum, this organic and sustainable packaging is both old school and new school cool.

Recently, Rimping Supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand decided to skip out on the single-use plastics and is now trialing banana leaves as produce packaging.

Editorial photograph

The flexibility of the leaves makes it perfect for packaging a variety of produce, with the supermarket wrapping into banana leaf pouches or instead filling them with leafy greens or bright and piquant red peppers.

Not only is it waterproof, but the leaves don't leach any chemicals onto the food, and it maintains its integrity in chilled displays. Better still, once the customer is done with the packaging, the leaves are compostable.

Response on social media has been positive, with some wishing their supermarkets would do the same. Banana leaves are just one alternative to single-use plastic packaging,a and it doesn't put the onus of sustainability on the customer, making going green easier to achieve.