Supermarkets in Asia have invented an ingenious solution to combat the growing plastic problem.

Originating from Rimping supermarket in Thailand, the practice of using fresh banana leaves instead of plastic packaging has been adopted throughout Asia – where banana leaves are in abundance.

Large supermarket chains in Vietnam have embraced the change and rolled out banana leaf packaging throughout many of their stores, used as a way to protect and bundle items such as cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, spring onions and are even looking to use the leaves to package fresh meat products.

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The change is just one of numerous efforts by Vietnamese chains to reduce plastic waste in the country – currently ranked fourth in the world for the most amount of plastic waste entering the ocean.

Reducing the need for single-use plastic bags is a growing trend in Asia, with Taiwanese stores charging customers for single-use bags, whilst South Korea has banned them entirely. Economic superpower China has also seen a 66% reduction in the use of plastic bags since banning thin plastic bags in 2008.

Although banana leaves aren’t the solution to all our plastic problems, they’re certainly the right step towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

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