The Philippines is the 3rd largest producer of single-use plastics next to China and Indonesia’s highly populous countries. The retail sachet-mentality started in the Philippines over thirty years ago. This replaced the culture of people bringing reusable containers to convenience stores and market stalls to buy kitchen supplies like cooking oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. The big supermarkets’ opening caused many of the convenience stores to close, and the introduction of single-use plastics proliferated.
In Pati, Tet and Hedz learned that one must practice the tools with other friends and just experiment and open up to transforming power to be successful. Coming home, they started again with livelier and more purposeful meetings. They set a timeframe and identified who to ask for help. They invited groups and individuals to display their products in the shop for a minimal fee in order to help pay for the rental of the place. In return, Bare Bargains will consolidate the promotion, marketing, service overheads, and reporting tasks.
Bare Bargains finally opened on October 8, 2020, hosting five supportive artisans, artists, and entrepreneurs. It is the first refillable store in the province of Bohol. They found a solution to the leakage problem but faced problems finding appropriate containers due to COVID. The customers openly give feedback, suggest products or sources, and willingly bring their containers to the shop. The Bare Bargain partners listen eagerly to the feedback and participate in regular meetings with them. Indeed, the dream of having a thriving eco-social hub for the community now becomes a reality.
Note: I am very happy to hear from participants of the International Peace Training in Pati. How did you practice the tools? Please write to Asia.Coordinator@Friendspeaceteams.org Let us share experiences!