In an article published on April 9, 2019, news provider EcoWatch reported on supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam that have started to wrap produce in banana leaves rather than plastic packaging. A number of stores such as Rimping Supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand and A Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam have trialed the leaves as alternative packaging and commented on expanding to further stores in the future if such positive feedback from customers continues. “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,” one shopper is quoted as saying.
The article reports on other packaging changes in the region including the sale of paper straws, boxes manufactured from sugarcane waste, and eggs being wrapped in paper instead of plastic. Disposable bags are reported as having been banned in South Korea and available for a fee in Taiwan. China banned thin plastic bags in 2008 and is reported to have reduced their use by 66%.
Olivia Rosane (April 8, 2019). “Supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam Swap Plastic Packaging for Banana Leaves.” EcoWatch