April 22, 2019


We told you that 2019 was going to be a great year for sustainable food packaging, and a bad year for single-use plastics. Oh, how right we were! With Earth Day right around the corner, brands are scrambling to make their packaging more eco-friendly. One grocery store in Thailand just sent ripples through the industry with a surprisingly simple solution — and it’s all-natural.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to avoid single-use plastics at the grocery store. Buying a reusable bag can help at checkout, but if fruits and veggies are on your shopping list you’ll likely have to reach for thin plastic baggies to keep them from spilling out of your cart.

Banana leaves used as packaging

Rather than turn to artificial materials, a grocery chain called Rimping has gone back to nature with banana leaf packaging for their produce. In some cases, the Rimping has been able to fold the leaves origami-style to hold peppers together. For bigger bundles of produce, they use bamboo twist ties, but the results are the same: packaging that’s 100% sourced from nature.

The idea of using banana leaves in place of packaging materials is nothing new. The practice dates back thousands of years in places like India and the Philippines, where it was used in place of paper. The leaves are flexible and waterproof, making them a great substitute for plastic wrap. They’re even used as plates, eliminating the need for single-use plastic alternatives. Their adaptability as a packaging solution is bananas — pun very much intended!

Produce wrapped in banana leaves

Sometimes the most sustainable solution is the simplest one, and turning to nature for inspiration is as simple as it comes. In recent years we’ve seen brands take packaging inspiration from bamboo, beeswax and even fermented teas. Since they’re sourced from nature, the resulting packaging solutions are completely biodegradable and plastic-free.

When you look at your packaging through a green lens, the sky’s the limit. There’s almost always a chance for solutions to be more eco-friendly, and Ernest would love the opportunity to reimagine yours. Here’s some food for thought: see what other food companies around the globe are doing this year to make their packaging greener.