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Vietnamese supermarkets replace plastic packaging with banana leaves

Wednesday, April 03, 2019, 14:45 GMT+7
Vietnamese supermarkets replace plastic packaging with banana leaves
A customer chooses a bunch of veggies wrapped in banana leaves at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.T / Tuoi Tre

Several supermarkets in Vietnam have replaced plastic packaging with banana leaves in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

After the Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand made headlines last month for ditching plastic packaging for the natural materials, many Vietnamese supermarkets have decided to follow suit.

Shoppers have been surprised to see green onions, okra and other vegetables wrapped in banana leaves at Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 these days.

Other supermarket chains also joined the South Korean hypermarket in experimenting with using the leaves to wrap veggies in their outlets as part of a plan to increase the use of environmentally friendly products.

Particularly, Saigon Co.op is step by step ditching their biodegradable wraps for banana leaves in its system consisting of Co.opmart supermarkets, Co.op Xtra hypermarkets, Co.op Food stores and Co.op Smiles convenient stores.

Bunches of veggies are wrapped in banana leaves at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.T / Tuoi Tre
Bunches of veggies are wrapped in banana leaves at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.T / Tuoi Tre

According to a Saigon Co.op’s media representative, the group has realized the environmentally-friendly advantage of banana leaves over its existing packaging methods.

The Big C supermarket chain has also started using banana leaves to wrap veggies in its locations in Hanoi since Monday, and in the central and southern Vietnamese localities starting from today, April 3.

The move has so far gained much support from local shoppers.

“It’s cute to see okras wrapped in banana leaves,” said Luong Thi Minh Phuong, a District 7 resident, in a Facebook post after she went shopping at the Lotte Mart in the same district.

“If every supermarket applies this method of packaging, a lot of plastic waste will be reduced.”

Banana leaf wrapping, like some other initiatives such as edible straws made from rice flour, has emerged after several reports highlighting Vietnam as one of the world’s biggest plastic poluuters.

The country disposes of about 2,500 metric tons of plastic waste a day, according to official figures.

Bunches of veggies are wrapped in banana leaves at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.T / Tuoi Tre
Bunches of veggies are wrapped in banana leaves at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.T / Tuoi Tre

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