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Thailand's green grocer

Banana leaves replace plastic supermarket

A supermarket in northern Thailand is taking a stand against pollution.

Thailand is a country in South East Asia with almost 70 million inhabitants where more than 60 percent of the people live in rural areas and work in the agricultural sector. However, Thailand is the world's sixth biggest contributor of ocean waste, according to Greenpeace.

In Thailand, as in many countries around the world, plastic bags of all sizes are offered to customers for free with any goods purchased.

Now one supermarket in Chiang Mai, a major city in northern Thailand, started replacing its plastic wrappers with a more natural kind of packaging: banana leaves. They also give out paper bags instead of plastic bags once a week.

"As part of our initiative to become a green grocer, we have rolled out measures to reduce the use of plastic since last year." (Atitarn Srisa-nga, marketing manager of the Rimping supermarket)

After all, the awareness of plastic pollution has developed also in Thailand. More and more supermarkets and convenience stores reduce the amount of plastic bags they hand out, but the mission is not easy. The shopkeeper encounter the challenge that fresh products become bad faster in the leaves than in plastic wrap.

Banana trees grow everywhere in the country and while the fruits and the flowers are eaten, the banana leaves are traditionally used as building material, mainly for roofing purposes, for wrapping items and as serving plates.

source: DPA

image: © Perfect Homes/dpa


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