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General News of Monday, 24 March 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Leaves Efficient As Food Wrapping

The decision also seeks to get rid of plastic bags littering roads and fluttering off market places.It is known that plastic bags contribute a significant dangerous effect to environment, people and animals. Packers, buyers, and consumers must have a clear understanding of the safe packaging options available.

Rising cost have caused families at times to use a lightweight plastic bag to store food in freezers, an attitude proven to be dangerous to health. As an eco-friendly alternative, plant leaves are useful and safe packaging alternative.

Most women think that leaves are efficient in wrapping and cooking than plastic. One of the women, Bele Françoise, says banana leaves, for example, lends a subtle aroma and taste when foods are cooked inside them. Select leaves, she notes, also make a beautiful background on which to serve various Cameroonian dishes, excellent for party platter or finger foods.

Marie Cité retails leaves at the market: "I welcome the ban on plastic bags not just that it gives me an additional advantage over plastic bags sellers but that the traditional advantages of leaves is beginning to be recognised in our cultural society." To Amougou Flavienne, "If properly washed, most leaves can be used for barbecuing, baking, steaming foods, and functions as a wrapping material. Banana leaves also lend a hint of flavour to your food that is very pleasant unlike plastic bags." Another leaves seller, Atangana Eyinga Chantal, says leaves can be used many times and are inexpensive to buy - about FCFA 200-FCFA 250 for a large pack. Many other women attest to the fact that leaves are easy to keep for later use; simply wrapping them in a thick plastic bag, secure with elastic and keep in the freezer.

A plastic bag seller at "Marché des vivres", Michel Dadje, expressed his readiness to switch over to alternatives like papers, not leaves.

Two years today Cameroon is seized with worry about lightweight plastic bags. In line with this, April 24, 2014, has been set for communities to go "plastic-bag free". In response, the plastics industry argues that the alternatives--whether paper or leaf-- would even be more damaging to climate in terms of deforestation. What about their scarcity during dry seasons?

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