It’s heartening to witness people and establishments being conscious of climate change and other environmental issues. So a small supermarket that wraps its products in banana leaves makes headlines quickly.
Banana leaf packaging is an aged practice that people have somehow overlooked.
It’s not difficult to understand why-plastic wraps are far more convenient to use. But their ability to preserve food and natural fragrance has made them necessary food wraps in the Philippines. The Hawaiians use them during luaus to protect food from hot lava as well. And the Mexicans have always been using them to wrap hot tamales. In India and Malaysia, they replace the plates we find familiar.
The banana leaf packaging that this supermarket uses hails from the district of Rimping in Chiang Mai. It became a go-to food wrap when a company, Perfect Homes, showcased it on their Facebook page. As every responsible business should, this supermarket wanted to contribute to the fight for our environment.
Our recycling efforts need a push-only 9% of the plastic we throw has ever been recycled. Not surprisingly, attention has been given these days to our dependence on single-use plastics.
The United Nations has revealed a sobering statistic-by 2050 about 12 billion tonnes of unwanted plastics would have reached our oceans and surroundings. Our use of plastics far exceeds what our climate can tolerate. Plastic wraps fuel this number.
What Are the Benefits of Using Banana Leaf Packaging?
We tend to use a plastic sheet once, then throw it when it gets dirty. Banana leaves, being readable and fragrant, are a way to circumvent the problem of single-use plastic. These leaves decrease the amount of plastic that we need to use drastically.
Using them is simple. All the supermarket does is wrap their produce with them before fastening them with bamboo. Besides, they are large and flexible enough to replace plastic wraps. Staff can fold them astound produce easily.
Then, there is the ever-present concern of cost. Banana leaves are far less expensive than plastic wraps. They are so readily available that they are free in tropical areas. Where bananas don’t grow, it’s possible to rely on local biodegradable products.
Besides being handy food preservers, these leaves have an added advantage. Their rather distinct fragrance repels lizards and other pests.
So the next time you reach for plastic wrap to cover your leftovers, take a cue from this Thai supermarket. You’d be doing the environment a huge favor.