Investing in items that replace plastic waste and disposables may seem like such a commitment, but it could cost the world a whole lot less (while reducing waste) if you do the math.
Using plastic and disposable items used to be a guilt-free thing. It simply just the way things were, and it’s difficult to suddenly break the practice. This probably led Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, to be to waste 2.5 to 5 million tons of plastic a year.
Luckily, with the age of the Internet, people are becoming more environmentally aware. There are now eco-friendly alternatives available.
Given the perceived inconvenience in investing in eco-friendly products, some are unaware of the benefits that can be personally gained aside from reducing waste. Hence, iPrice Group recently conducted a study that shows how much money can be saved from using eco-friendly products and how much waste can be reduced in a year. Using their price-comparison platform, they collated the average price of each product (both disposable and eco-friendly) in 2020.
Taking the average price of each product from iPrice’s platform, an average woman can save up to Php 4,603 a year, while an average man can save up to Php 2,542 a year if they completely invest in eco-friendly alternatives. This amount is enough to afford an expensive buffet dinner in the Philippines.
Here are 5 eco-friendly items that can help you save money while saving the planet:
1. Item: Reusable Masks
Savings: PHP 1,221/year
Waste reduced: 365 disposable masks/year
COVID-19 has given us an additional essential cost for face masks. Disposable masks don’t come in cheap, especially the good-quality 3-plies. Based on iPrice’s platform, the average price of 365 disposable masks (assuming we use one mask a day) would cost about PHP 1,631, while investing in a pack of washable, reusable masks would only cost PHP 411. An average person can spare PHP 1,221 a year with the eco-friendly choice.
2. Item: Menstrual Cup
Savings: PHP 2,061/year
Waste reduced: 240 menstrual pads/year
The average price of a menstrual cup is about PHP 772, and these are said to last years or even up to a decade. On the other hand, if a woman uses 20 menstrual pads per cycle, she would waste about 240 pads a year. The average price of a year’s worth of disposable menstrual pads on iPrice’s platform is Php 2,833. A woman could save up Php 2,061/year if she just gets herself a diva cup.
3. Item: Tote Bag
Savings: PHP 769/year
Waste reduced: 1,404 plastic bags/year
The Philippines has been known to be a contributor to Asia’s growing plastic waste in recent years. According to a report, a single person in Navotas City is estimated to use 27 plastic labo bags a week. Using this estimate, a single person would waste about 1,404 plastic bags a year. Given this glaring amount of waste, some stores charge extra for the use of plastic to discourage customers. A year’s worth of plastic bags would cost about PHP 1,652, while investing in a tote bag would only cost about PHP 883. Consumers may even find a cheaper, more practical tote bag than the average one on iPrice’s platform, as stylish tote bags were also part of the platform’s database.
4. Items: Metal Straw
Savings: PHP 453/year
Waste reduced: 365 disposable straws/year
If a person uses one plastic straw a day, a year’s worth would cost about PHP 712. Investing in a reusable metal straw would cost PHP 259, PHP 453 less than 365 plastic straws. Understanding that an average person wouldn’t really pay for plastic straws in restaurants or boba stalls, this could also be a cost and waste-reducer for restaurant owners.
5. Item: Metal Chopsticks
Savings: PHP 100/year
Waste reduced: 100 disposable chopsticks/year
Say if an average Filipino uses 100 pcs of chopsticks a year (half of how much a Chinese uses, according to a study), it would cost them about PHP 302, while investing in metal chopsticks would only cost PHP 202. As mentioned, not everyone necessarily purchases their own disposable chopsticks. Thus, this figure could also an indicator for restaurant owners to go greener as well.
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The price of each item was taken from a single month’s average price between January and September 2020 in iPrice’s database. iPrice compared the average price of reusable items with disposable alternatives. The price vis-a-vis quantity of waste reduced is based on the database’s products. The estimate of waste used in a year was taken from external data sources such as no-burn.org (plastic bags) and NBC News (chopsticks), and based on educated assumptions.
About iPrice Group
iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely; Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogues more than 5 billion and receives about 20-30 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.