Have You Visited a Zero-Waste Store Before?

We visited two stores in Metro Manila that peddle food items and green cleaning items to find out more about this movement.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Sustainable living isn’t a new concept. The idea of consuming products that are reusable so that there is no need to dispose of anything is something that more and more people are subscribing to. Here in the Philippines, some municipalities have already adapted the no-plastic policy—banning the use of plastic bags in groceries, restaurants, and other establishments. These days, it’s not out of the ordinary to see people whipping out steel straws from their bags in place of the plastic ones from coffee shops and fast food places. But did you know that there are zero-waste stores that are helping both local communities and the environment? 

 


Produce sourced from local communities

 

Got Heart in White Plains, Quezon City was founded by Melissa Yeung-Yap. The goal was to create a social enterprise where local communities could have an avenue to sell their produce. According to the foundation’s Social Enterprise Development Manager Christine De Joya to learn more about the company’s efforts in sustainability. “For example, ‘yung isang Aeta community, they mainly farm ginger,” she shares. “But who buys ginger in bulk, right?” Instead of having to walk on foot to sell their produce by the roadside, Got Heart supports these farmers by creating an avenue for them to sell to a bigger market without spending as much to get to the customers. Got Heart has over 150-200 community partners but not all are active. “What I mean by this is, the end goal is for the communities to let us know that they’re already okay and we can help other people now,” De Joya explains.

 


 


 


Got Heart encourages customers to reuse containers 

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As for their handmade, organic soaps, which they only started selling them last year. For the bars, they decided to sell them without packaging. For their liquid soap, they encourage their customers to bring their own containers or reuse the bottles they purchase from the shop the first time they buy.

 

Ritual has been open since May 2010 in Makati. 

 


You can get pantry staples sourced from local communities.

 

 

Ritual, a plastic-bag free and sustainable general store in Makati and has been open since May 2010, sources more than 90% of their products from small and local communities. Partner Bea Misa (who shares that their staff actually co-own the store) says, “We try to source mainly from the producers, which allows us to have direct impact on their livelihood.” Mindful of their partnerships, she also shares, “We also source things that they ordinarily aren't able to sell.”

 


You can get pantry staples sourced from local communities.

 


Discover new produce and finds from local communities around the Philippines.

 

 


Cacao nibs, cacao powder, tablea 

 

 

Ritual sells pantry basics such as sugar, sea salt, and other local goods such as cacao nibs, dulce gatas, coffee, fruit wines, and tapuey (Philippine rice wine) as well as soaps and deodorizers for green cleaning.

 

But with all these efforts, is there actually a demand for zero-waste products? De Joya says that one of Got Heart’s most shared posts on Facebook—without boosting at all—was one where she used the words “refilling station” and “package-free soap.” She says, “Now that they know about it, we have gained new customers—the woke yuppies.” Misa also notes that there is more demand now mostly from a younger market. She tells us, “A lot more younger people are using our refilling services than before.” And though they would love to expand more to meet the growing demand for their products, running a zero-waste facility here is simply not as easy as it is in other countries. She says, “There are many more bugs and humidity issues here, especially for grains and beans. So we are just starting to find natural solutions to those.”

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For Got Heart, owner Yeung-Yap, who is responsible for the formulations of the soaps they have in-store, is currently working on new products. They will hopefully release the new offerings later this year.

 

With the younger generation becoming more conscious and mindful of their eco footprint, you can be sure that there will be more zero-waste stores or at least stores that will give customers sustainable options in the future.

 

 

 

Got Heart

Lot 10 B-10 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains , QC

69 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights, QC

(02) 577 9138

0917 584 3278

www.gotheartfoundation.org

Instagram: @gotheartshop

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GotHeartPH/

 

Ritual

2/F Languages Internationale Building

926 Arnaiz Avenue (Formerly Pasay Road)

Makati City

Open Tues-Sat 11am-8pm

www.ritual.ph

[email protected]

Telephone: +632 7345486
Twitter and Instagram: @ritualph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ritualph

 

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