No different to many other cities in developing countries, Chiang Mai suffers the growing pains of pesky plastic waste. In recent years, though, a small but determined band of resistance have been doing their bit in and around town to help reduce, re-use and recycle the man-made stuff.
So when Perfect Homes spotted a rather nifty alternative to Earth-unfriendly packaging the other day at a branch of Rimping Supermarket, we couldn’t help but get fired up! As well as offering shoppers the option to buy or borrow a cloth bag in store, the popular grocery outfit now bundles its Veggie First fresh greens in banana leaves finished with a fibre tie. Not that the idea of leaf-wrapped edibles is anything new in the Land of Smiles; folk have been doing it for decades. But to see it in a supermarket, we snapped away at the assorted produce with nothing more than a mobile phone then gave a quick shout out to Rimping on the Perfect Homes Facebook page. Little did we imagine the response…
Logging into the social networking site the very next day, we could barely contain our amazement to see our post was being shared on average some 500 times an hour meaning it had gone viral; first in Thailand and Vietnam before spreading like crazy to the rest of the world! So far, it’s chalked up more than 3.5 million views and 16,000 shares with a number of netizens tagging their own local supermarket for them to, ahem, take a (banana) leaf out of Rimping’s book!
Not to mention sparking hundreds of comments. “Congratulations on leading the way”, “logical and practical”, “brilliant idea” and “ingenious” were written in support. While others gushed about the added visual appeal of the natural wrapping saying “This is actually beautiful” and “Looks more appetising”; and being organic so biodegradable, another user weighed in with “Great compost for the garden”!
When it comes to cracking Chiang Mai’s plastic troubles, for sure there’s still a long way to go; but kudos to Rimping Supermarket for a positive step in the right direction. And if it means just one less plastic bag littering the landscapes, fouling the waterways and choking the storm drains in this fair Northern Rose of ours, then we reckon it was well worth us posting!
What do you think of Rimping’s tradition-inspired solution to help cut the use of plastic in Chiang Mai? Remark away in the comments section below!