MANILA, Philippines – Plastic waste has become one of the world’s biggest environmental problems. We’ve been seeing a record number of dead whales being washed ashore, their bodies full of plastic bags and wrappers. Photos of turtles with straws sticking up their noses or their shells stuck in six-pack rings have become a common sight on social media.
The good news is, people have become more aware of this environmental crisis.
More and more consumers are choosing the zero-waste lifestyle or at least one with a much less impact. What started as the strawless movement has now evolved into a “bring your own” (BYO) movement. This means bringing your own bags, containers, water bottles, utensils – practically anything that would keep you from using single-use plastics whenever you’re out to shop, eat, or what have you.
Here in the Philippines, package-free shops are popping up everywhere. There’s the humble market, The Naturale Market, and a host of mom and pop stores selling refillable toiletries and pantry items in either recycled packaging or none at all.
This pro-environment community is growing big and fast. The Facebook group called Buhay Zero Waste currently has over 44,000 members who are actively sharing their zero waste lives at home, in supermarkets, and even fast food restaurants every day.