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Refill, don’t buy. Get ready for a pantry eco-makeover

By May Dedicatoria Published Dec 22, 2020 2:15 am

Like most woke and iron-willed young adults, Sarah aspires to practice zero-waste lifestyle.

Before the pandemic, she would bring her own food container, spoon and fork, and drinking bottle to her favorite restaurants. The weight of guilt when using plastic utensils was heavier than the extra bag she brought.

Now, she mostly cooks. As for the ingredients, she scours the market for grains and pantry staples with her trusted large canvas tote in tow, filled with refill glass jars and microwavables—they’re as important as a face mask and rubbing alcohol.

Unfortunately, unlabeled cooking oil, vinegar, soy sauce and other condiments sold by gallons may not be the smartest way to go. So, if you live around Taguig like Sarah, a refreshing option would be to visit the reopened BYOB (Bring Your Own Bote) booth outside the Mind Museum.

Keeping it eco-friendly and safe: The BYOB Store at the Mind Museum in BGC reopens with stricter health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of both its staff and customers.

“It takes commitment to reduce the waste that you produce, but it’s all worth it especially when you see the amount of garbage floating in the floodwater. If you want to start a minimalist lifestyle, you can always begin in your kitchen,” she said.

Whoever said zero-waste shopping only meant high-end organic stores didn’t know the essence of reducing, reusing, recycling—and refilling. The BYOB Store caters to household names like Golden Fiesta cooking oil and Datu Puti soy sauce and vinegar.

Amid the ongoing quarantine, the booth reopened with stricter health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of both its staff and customers. Floor markers are located outside the BYOB store to ensure social distancing and an alcohol dispenser has been placed in front of the store. Each personnel wears a PPE, mask, face shield and a hair cap.

Most importantly, all bottles undergo sterilization before they get refilled.

On top of the refilling service, customers without available reusable bottles can also buy a new 500-ml glass bottle for P20, which is sterilized beforehand, ready to be refilled with NutriAsia products.

To place an order at the BYOB store, simply visit cdn.jotfor.ms/nai.byob/orderform and fill out the forms.

With the holidays approaching, we can expect the number of waste to double. By refilling and using fewer plastic containers, you are not only saving money for your virtual exchange gifts, you’re already gifting yourself and the planet.

According to a study by the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, the Philippines is the third biggest polluter in the world, with 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste and half a million metric tons of plastic waste leakage per year.

Worse, because of the pandemic, more plastic packaging is being used, especially for food items. Crispian Lao, vice chair of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and president of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability, previously said that there’s a shift in consumption patterns, as more people are opting for deliveries.

“NSWMC fully supports programs aimed at reducing waste. Avoidance, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the pillars of the waste hierarchy that is prompted as the most preferred options,” he shares.

“If the citizenry supports such programs and initiatives, then there will be less waste that requires treatment and disposal (in sanitary landfills).”

Quezon City residents may also have their condiment bottles refilled at the BYOB booth within the City Hall Compound, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays.

Now, how much do you know about plastics and recycling? Try this short quiz:

For more information on the BYOB store and NutriAsia products, follow NutriAsia on Facebook.

Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like NutriAsia.