I saw this really cool blog post a while back and I’ve been wanting to share it with you all.
Have you been seeing more and more often lately in the media and the news what is happening to our environment? There have been so many videos and articles circulating regarding pollution in our oceans and rivers, plastic and garbage killing wild animals, the severe and irreversible state of climate change, and much more.
Luckily, if you do your research you can find just as many videos and articles that offer solutions to this problem. Whether these solutions are small or large; permanent or temporary; any effort is better than none at all!
So, back to the post that I saw. It was titled Supermarkets in Asia are Now Using Banana Leaves Instead of Plastic Packaging. It’s pretty self explanatory… but check out those pictures!!
If you don’t want to read through it yourself, I will summarize it for you. The process originated in Thailand and has since spread to Vietnam and the Philippines. They use pesticide-free banana leaves to wrap all types of produce like cucumbers, scallions, lettuce, peppers, eggplants, ginger, and so much more!
After a local estate agent posted some photos of the produce on their Facebook Page and wrote an article about it which you can read HERE, it gained widespread attention from all over the world with over 4 million views!
Sources from Vietnam state that while they started testing this eco-friendly practice in local markets, it has become so popular that now they plan to initiate it all across the country. They also want to begin replacing plastic with leaves to wrap meat products as well!
Banning or replacing single use plastic bags is actually a growing trend all across Asia, and believe me, they are really starting to notice the results!!! According to this website, China has seen a 66% drop in plastic bag use in over a decade since banning the use of ultra-thin plastic bags in 2008.
While banana leaves may not be the most easily accessible here in the states, we can definitely follow Asia’s example by trying to find biodegradable alternatives. You can use paper bags rather than plastic bags at the store, and re-usable trash bags or trash bags made from recycled materials!
If you’re really passionate about cutting back on the amount of plastic you throw away, here are some more resources you can check out to help you:
Quickly Reduce the Amount of Plastic You Throw Away
You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic
10 Ways to Stop Using Single Use Plastic
Reducing the amount of contact we have with plastic in our daily life is not just good for the environment, but it’s good for our health. Check out these interesting anecdotes I found from these sources below!
In the last decade, several studies have investigated our daily exposures to plastics, plasticizers, and other chemicals found in plastic food wrappers. (1)
In 2010, a group of 20 individuals from 5 families were able to reduce their urinary levels of BPA and Phthalates just by reducing their use of foods wrapped in plastic (even organic produce is often times wrapped in plastic), canned goods lined with BPA, and microwaving food in plastic containers. After only 3 days of a “fresh food diet,” the level of chemicals in their urine dropped. (2)
Food packaging is designed to make storage and handling more convenient but we must also consider the potential health risks associated with this simple daily exposures. A great resources on BPA (Bisphenol A) exposures in canned foods, health risks, and practical solutions is from the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. Click here to download their report.
1. Claudio L (2012). Our Food: Packaging and Public Health. 1 June 2012, Environmental Health Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.
2. Rudel RA, et al (2011) Food Packaging and BPA and Phthalate Exposure. 1 July 2011. Environmental Health Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.