Reducing packaging and single-use plastics is an ongoing battle that both individual consumers and huge companies struggle with. While there’s only so much people just going grocery shopping can do, many have found clever solutions that include bringing their own reusable produce bags to the store.
Getting a reusable bag to replace plastic is a great substitute, but even the better alternative of a cotton tote takes 130+ uses before it’s actually better for the environment. That’s why this innovative supermarket may have just found the perfect solution.
Rimping Supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand is taking an item that’s often wasted and using it to replace plastic packaging. They’re wrapping produce in banana leaves, a technique that started with Thai street vendors and has sense moved into their supermarkets.
Along with cutting out the need for plastic produce bags, they’re also assuring they grow produce in a “pesticide safe” way. Other regions across the globe have banned single-use plastics entirely, while many just discourage the use by charging per bag.
One of the most environmentally-friendly replacements for plastic bags at the supermarket is non-woven polypropylene bags. The bags are much sturdier than plastic or paper, but require much fewer resources to produce than a cotton bag. Cotton bags are also a good option if you're very deligent about bringing it to the store every time you shop, but remember estimates say it takes 130 uses before it's actually more environmentally-friendly than plastic.