If you were to visit some grocery stores in Thailand and Vietnam, you would find they are doing something interesting to combat the use of plastic. They are removing the plastic bags from the stores and using banana leaves instead.
By this time, most people realize how important it is to stop using plastic bags so often. Not only is it poisoning the seas and causing whales to wash on shore dead with a lot of plastic in their stomachs, but it is also causing additional problems as well.
After all, if something is poisoning the sea, it is likely poisoning humans right along with it. When you consider how much we eat that comes out of the sea, it becomes quite obvious that it is a serious problem.
In the UK, stores have started charging for the single use of a plastic bag. There is still a lot of improvement that is possible. Admittedly, we may not have easy access to banana leaves in our part of the world but there must be some type of solution that would work.
In the end, it is very encouraging to see the development of using banana leaves in the Rimping Supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand.
Other Vietnamese supermarkets in Saigon, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City saw what was being done and are following suit. A spokesman for the Lotte Market in Ho Chi Minh City said it is being done as a test but they will probably roll it out nationwide. Before long, they hope to use banana leaves for meat and vegetables.
This is certainly a step in the right direction and it is much needed. As far as ocean plastic polluting nations are concerned, Vietnam is ranked at number four so this could have a huge impact.
Other plans are also in place. For example, Big C supermarket is using bags made from corn that are biodegradable.
South Korea is another country where the ideas are making a difference. They have now banned the single-use plastic bags, taking things a step further than the small charge for the same bags in the UK. Shops in South Korea must produce an alternative option, regardless of whether it is a non-plastic bag or a recycled container.
Singapore is trying to get people to stop and Taiwan is now charging for the use of plastic. All of these things will make an impact and we are moving in the right direction.
China was perhaps the country that led the others when it comes to reducing the use of plastic bags. They banned the use of very thin plastic bags in 2008. Since the ban took place, the use of those bags has dropped 66% and some 40 billion bags have been kept from the ocean.
Maybe it’s not so late after all!