Convenience stores are not known for being environmentally friendly, but this absurd product took it to another level.
Reddit users shared photos to the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit from 7-Eleven stores in Thailand showing single bananas wrapped in plastic packaging.
In September, a video went viral showing monkeys in the country stealing bananas from a 7-Eleven; the plastic packaging was visible, but clearly, it didn’t deter the animals.
The chain, which was founded in 1927, has sparked similar outrage before.
Last year, a TikToker went viral after sharing that his manager at a 7-Eleven in Oklahoma City asked him to throw away perfectly good food. A couple of months ago, another Reddit user showed a shop that had left bottled water to bake in near triple-digit temperatures.
7-Eleven has made strides by entering the electric vehicle charging market and reaching a (modest) goal to reduce its carbon dioxide pollution by 20% eight years early. It now says it wants to make a 50% cut from 2013 levels by 2030.
But in 2009, it also tried to sell plastic-wrapped bananas in Dallas.
The company — and other retailers — made a commitment in 2018 to reduce single-use plastic waste in Thailand but backtracked soon after.
Only about 9% of plastic is recycled globally, Bloomberg reported in 2022, and the Global South suffers inordinately from plastic pollution. Southeast Asia is home to many recycling plants as well.
“In its simplest form, plastic is a byproduct of oil or natural gas, and melting or burning it releases hydrocarbons that can damage the lungs, nervous system and kidneys,” Matthew Campbell wrote. “Modern packaging is much more complicated and contains a broad array of additives selected for qualities such as grease resistance or flexibility. When processed, these chemicals can combine to create toxic substances including dioxins, which have been found in high concentrations around recycling facilities.”
In 2018, the country announced it would ban all plastic waste imports by 2020, though that timeline was stretched to 2025, according to Bloomberg. Last year, more than 158,000 tons of plastic arrived in Thailand.
The country is also an outsize producer of plastic pollution in the ocean.
“This is why Thailand is one of the top ten producers of plastic waste in the world and contributes significantly to plastic trash accumulation in the ocean,” one Redditor wrote.
Another user said: “This hits humanity and the environment. They need to stop this immediately.”
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