School Canteen in Negros Goes Completely Plastic-Free and Uses Locally-Made Alternatives

A high school in Cauayan, Negros Occidental revealed its newest effort to be environmentally-concious at the opening of classes last June 3. They debuted their ‘Wala Usik’ Canteen which is Hiligaynon for “zero-waste” or “nothing-is-wasted”. The purpose of this canteen is to promote a plastic-free lifestyle amongst both students and teachers, inside and outside of campus.

(7 Products that are Made Out of Recycled Plastic)

Bulata National High School’s initiative makes use of only items which are “biodegradable, indigenous, and reusable.” These include things like bamboo mugs, coconut shell bowls, and banana leaves. Additionally, the canteen only serves food made from fresh and local produce in an effort to promote healthy eating.

(60 billion sachets and 17.5 billion plastic bags are thrown each year in the Philippines)

Mr. Eiggy Duller Yap, who is the primary reason behind this change, was moved to action by the Danjugan Island’s Marine and Wildlife Camp. His attendance brought him face-to-face with the consequences of human actions to natural resources.

Painted by the Association of Negros Artists paying homage to Cauayan waters’ biodiversity

The Wala Usik Sari-Sari Store which launched in the same barangay only in April was another motivating factor. He explains that the sari-sari store made him think: “Why not adopt this model, and reduce plastic waste at source, at the same time promote what’s local? Imagine if all school canteens in the Philippines become ‘wala usik’.”

(This is why just switching to metal straws might not save the environment)

There are actually 8 Wala Usik Sari-Sari Stores already operating in Negros all aiming to significantly lessen plastic waste, considering the damage it does to our oceans and food supply. They are all in partnership with the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) through its program SWEEP: Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic, as is the Bulata National High School.

What are other everyday ways to lessen the amount of plastic we consume? 

Photos from SWEEP

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