Environmental organisation BAN Toxics has increased its commitment to reducing plastic waste in the Philippines by promoting the establishment of plastic-free refill stores.

The organisation launched a mock sari-sari, meaning ‘variety’ or ‘sundry’, store with the signage ‘Kahit konting pagTINGI‘ to highlight the importance of refilling in small quantities.

The campaign is designed to show that the Filipino ‘tingi’ culture can be plastic-free as practised in other communities for many years.

BAN executive director Rey San Juan said: “BAN Toxics promotes the practice of ‘tingi-tingi’ with the mindful concept of refilling. Refilling as a business model is going to be a changemaker of our time, yet again.

“It has been tested by a number of social enterprises that also share the mission to help address plastic pollution. What is needed is the full support of our leaders to reintroduce refilling, reuse, and other alternative systems in our communities.

“Our call is for our stakeholders to look towards a plastics-free future and explore accessible alternatives such as these, especially with the Global Plastics Treaty on the horizon.”

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The organisation also calls on the industry and its supply chains and retail stores to invest and collaborate to develop plastic-free refilling stores to minimise the use of plastic packaging.

The Philippines generates 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, of which only roughly 28% of the key resins consumed in 2019 were being recycled, data by the World Bank revealed.

A study by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives in the same year also claimed that the country used 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags, and 45 million thin film bags on a daily basis.