Only recently Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand implemented a very crafty alternative to single-use plastic by using banana leaves instead. Supermarkets all over Vietnam have since done the same thing, much to the enthusiasm of their customers across the globe who quickly spread the news. And it now appears that their Southeast Asian neighbor, the Philippines, is following suit.
Banana leaves can grow to nine feet in length. The leaves are sturdy enough for wrapping and are ideal for wrapping fresh produce since the two have a similar shelf life. Despite being more expensive than its nylon and plastic counterparts, the difference is negligible.
LCC (Liberty Commercial Center) Mall in Legazpi City, Albay has started to wrap products from their produce section in banana leaves, including chilis, cabbages, and beans. Meanwhile, Dizon Farms, a local produce supplier for huge supermarket chains in the Philippines, also started to introduce changes in their packaging for select supermarket chains like Robinsons.
The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are all countries that have been tagged by Greenpeace for plastic pollution in their high seas. In a study by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (Gaia) last March, daily plastic waste in the Philippines reaches up to 163 million sachets and 3 million diapers.
As explained on vice.com, swapping single-use plastics with banana leaves is a step closer to reducing further waste, and a new iteration of the global movement against plastic. In the supermarket, bringing your own bag or opting for biodegradable bags instead of plastic has already been promoted as an alternative globally.