Vietnam supermarkets turn to banana leaves to wrap vegetables

Lotte Mart, one of the three biggest supermarket chains in Vietnam, is using banana leaves instead of plastic bags to wrap its vegetables. PHOTO: LOTTE MART VIETNAM / FACEBOOK

HANOI (DPA) - Several supermarkets in Vietnam have joined a campaign to use non-plastic products to wrap vegetables in a bid to protect the environment, state media reported on Wednesday (April 3).

The three biggest supermarket chains in Vietnam - Lotte Mart, Saigon Co-op in Ho Chi Minh City and Big C in Hanoi - have started using banana leaves instead of plastic bags to wrap vegetables, the online newspaper Vnexpress reported.

Shoppers at a Lotte Mart outlet in Ho Chi Minh City were recently surprised to see scallions, okra and other vegetables wrapped in banana leaves, the newspaper reported, adding that the company will expand the use of banana leaves to the entire chain in the country later this year, following a trial period in the southern city.

The measure is part of an effort to switch to environmentally friendly products, not just for vegetables but also for fresh meat, the newspaper said.

The Ho Chi Minh City Lotte Mart was also selling paper straws and food boxes made from sugarcane waste, while eggs were contained in paper packages instead of plastic boxes.

Big C is offering shoppers completely biodegradable bags made with corn powder.

Vietnam generates about 2,500 tonnes of plastic waste a day, according to official figures. The country ranks fourth globally for the amount of plastic waste dumped into the ocean, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

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