Some plastic bags are being replaced with banana leaves. Photo: iStock.

A number of supermarkets in Vietnam have started wrapping vegetables in banana leaves in a bid to curb plastic waste.

The Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 is one of the first supermarkets seen to be using this method to wrap okra, scallions and other vegetables, VN Express reported.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said the move is an experimental one and that the company has plans to expand the practice to other branches around the country. As well as vegetables, the company has plans to use the leaves for wrapping fresh meat.

Shoppers reportedly received the move well, with one of them commenting that the new initiative can improve local awareness of the need for environmental protection.

Saigon Coop is also wrapping its vegetables with banana leaves, as seen at some of their branches in Ho Chi Minh City. Big C, another supermarket chain, is doing the same.

As well as cutting back on its use of plastic bags, Lotte Mart has stated that it is selling paper straws and food boxes made with sugarcane waste. Eggs are wrapped in paper packaging.

Official statistics indicate that Vietnam disposes of about 2,500 tons of plastic waste a day, making the country one of the top producers of plastic waste.

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