In recent years, plastic waste has become a growing problem—especially in cities, where large malls with hundreds of stores stand. Mall management and government officials have been taking various steps to reduce plastic waste, like offering eco bags for a minimal fee, using paper bags instead of plastic bags, and charging a fee of P2 to avail of a plastic bag.
To further reduce plastic wastes, Quezon City, the largest city in the country in terms of population, is taking huge steps towards a plastic-free city this 2020. First, Ordinance No. SP-2876, banning restaurants from using single-use plastics such as cutlery, plastic cups, and straws, has taken effect in February 2020. Second is the newly opened condiment refilling station, the “Bring Your Own Bote (BYOB) Store.”
Through the initiative of the city’s Small Business and Cooperatives Development Office (SBCDO), in partnership with NutriAsia, Inc., the BYOB Store was brought to life. The store—built out of eco-bricks—is a small establishment where residents can purchase condiments such as cooking oil, soy sauce, and vinegar, at low prices. The only catch is they must bring their own reusable bottles where they will put the condiments in.
“This initiative is part of the city’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in an interview with PhilStar. Residents can also drop their single-use plastic wastes at the store, where bins for these wastes are available. The BYOB store, located at the Quezon City Hall compound, is open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.