Paper Banana Leaf is cheap and unhealthy substitute for the real one

The Consumers Association of Penang calls on consumers to refrain from eating meals served on paper banana leaf as it deprives the consumer from getting the benefits and the authenticity of the traditional banana leaf meals. Besides it is an unhealthy and cheap substitute for the real one.


Indian restaurants serving banana leaf meals are now using green coloured paper lined with plastic in the shape of banana leaf instead of the real leaf.


Using paper banana leaf pose some health hazards to consumers, for example when hot food is placed on the plastic lining  plasticisers may leach into the food. As the green paper does not have a smooth and consistent finish it could be made from recycled pulp from old newspapers. Besides being dyed green, the paper may contain inks from the recycled newspapers.

Food is said to taste better when served on banana leaf as there is no chemical reaction, the food keeps its value intact besides retaining the leaf taste. When hot food is placed on real banana leaf a nice aroma is being released. This is because banana leaf contains large amounts of polyphenols which is similar to green tea

Banana leaf is an herb. It is soothing to the digestive system as the mucilage in the leaf cools the burning mucous membrane and cures ulcers. The herb has diuretic properties and when buffered with food items it works positively on the kidneys. The surface of the banana leaf has some antibacterial properties which can kill various bacteria in the food and can prevent   diseases.

Eating on banana leaf is considered auspicious besides getting the benefits from its medicinal properties Banana leaf is natural and chemical free, it is disposable and degrades in   nature easily and does not cause pollution like plastics which are not degraded by nature.

Given the health and environmental benefits of eating on banana leaf, consumers eating at restaurants serving “banana leaf meal” should not be short changed of its benefits. They should insist that food be served on real banana leaf.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs and Cooperatives should take action against restaurants that served banana leaf meal on paper under the Trade Description Act.