If you think you’ve heard enough depressing things about the state of the environment – I’m with you. There’s a lot of horrible news concerning global warming, oil spills, holes in the ozone layer and I don’t know about you but it makes me feel sad and helpless. However, a shop in Thailand is giving us hope. This Asian supermarket called Rimping has taken a massive step to reduce environmental pollution – they’ve stopped using plastic.
And we’re not talking about the classic option of charging for plastic bags to discourage use, or offering paper bags instead of plastic ones. This supermarket went a step further. They’ve stopped using plastic packaging for their products and instead they use banana leaves as packaging.
It’s kind of like going back to the old days before plastic was even a thing. It’s such a simple yet genius solution. Think about it, no one really needs to package fruits and veggies in plastic. It’s only done because it’s cheap and makes it easier to transport the produce, but plastic takes thousands of years to break down, it leaves behind harmful toxins, poisons the soil and water while it rots in landfills and only a very small portion of it will be recycled.
Every day we keep hearing about turtles who get plastic straws stuck up their noses and whales that get washed up on the beach with literal tons of plastic in their stomach. We use and throw out so much plastic every day and then birds, seals and various other animals get stuck or injured or worse, and it happens every day. It’s 2019 and our planet is essentially drowning in plastic. Recycling is good but it’s not enough. We should be thinking of ways to reduce plastic use altogether.
Is using leaves a better solution? It’s natural, there’s no trash left behind, everything is organic and clean, you don’t even have to think about recycling and in my humble opinion, it looks much more appealing this way.
And you know what’s the best part about this Asian supermarket that stopped using plastic? They’re not even using it as a big promotional idea, it’s not an ad or a stunt, they didn’t post this all over the internet or pay someone to talk about them and their brilliant way of avoiding plastic. A random person just walked in, thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to take a couple of pictures to share on Facebook and it went viral.
If you’re attentive you’ll see that even though most things in Rimping Supermarket are packaged in leaves, there are still a few things wrapped in plastic. The reason for that is that some produce is imported and it’s packaged like that by the supplier. There’s little Rimping Supermarket can do about that. But they hope to eliminate all plastic by just letting the customers choose. If more people choose to buy things wrapped in leaves and the plastic wrapped products are left behind it influence the supply chain. It’s a simple question of demand and supply after all.
Rimping Supermarket is not alone in trying to avoid plastic. China has stopped importing plastic waste and is now focusing on recycling their own. Many Asian countries are taking steps to limit their use of plastic and be more environmentally friendly.
We encourage you to join in. Recycle the plastic that you have already accumulated, it’ll take you a fraction of the time compared to plastic breakdown time. Try going plastic-free when you can, bring tote-bags with you, support eco-friendly businesses and initiatives. We only have one planet and we should take care of it.