In a bid to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up as nonrecyclable waste, several grocery stores and supermarkets in the metro have discarded pre-packed food items and now encourage shoppers to bring their own containers. The move is timely as January has been mandated by law as Zero Waste Month in the country.
In a 2019 report by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Filipinos were revealed to be discarding over 164 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily. This has prompted several businesses to address the problem through sustainable shopping, with several supermarkets now charging an extra fee for plastic bags to encourage consumers to bring their own shopping bags.
Still, some items and produce continue to be wrapped in plastic. So if you’re looking to buy food items that truly do away with single-use packaging, your best bet would be zero waste grocery stores that ask you to bring your own bags and containers.
Though some of these small businesses have closed down their physical shops and shifted their operations online due to the pandemic, we had previously compiled a list of zero waste grocery stores that are still open in Visayas and Mindanao. Here’s a list for Metro Manila shoppers as well.
Where: inside YDG Coffee in Mandala Park, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong; also open online here
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Humble Market is a self-service shop that lets you bring your own container and fill it up with your desired kilogram of grains and nuts. It also houses biodegradable non-food items, including organic detergent powder and reusable facial wipes.[READ: Humble Market makes a strong case for sustainable shopping]
Where: 2742 Cailles Street, Bangkal, Makati
Open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays
Luminary offers affordable grocery products sans single-use packaging. The items include nuts, dried fruits, cooking oil, condiments, herbs, spices, grains, beans, pasta, noodles and even sweets, candies, chocolates and baking ingredients. You can rent or buy jars from Luminary to store your purchased items, but the shop strongly encourages you to bring your own containers. Really, even a platito for spices or powders would suffice—no judgment.
The Naturale Market
Where: Burgos Circle, The Fort, Taguig and Ayala Manila Bay
Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Launched in 2019, The Naturale Market houses different eco-friendly goods including beauty and self-care products and some locally-made clothes and items. One of its sections, called Scoop and Weigh, carries food products like grains, seeds, coffee and nut butter. As its name implies, all you need to do is fill up a reusable container with what you need and pay based on its weight.
KatHa Lifestyle Store
Where: Cubao Expo, Quezon City
Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; closed on Mondays and only café area is open on Thursdays
A lifestyle store and homegrown artisan coffee shop in one, KatHa carries scoopable products like tea leaves and powder, cacao nibs and grains and seeds like adlai and quinoa. Aside from food items, it also has package-free shampoo and conditioner bars for those who want to remove hair care product sachets from their lifestyle.