December 8, 2023

Enjoy seamless shopping offered by online selling platforms, but still be mindful of the environment.

This is the call of the Department of Trade and Industry with the shift in consumer behavior – from buying from physical stores to purchasing online requiring the use of more materials to secure the items during delivery.

DTI-Cordillera Director Juliet Lucas said consumers should balance the convenience they enjoy from shopping online and the need to protect the environment.

“We should remain responsible and still think of sustainability when shopping. The consumer behavior today which shifted to buying items online requires the generation of materials for packaging that end up as wastes has an impact on the environment,” Lucas said.

To raise public awareness on responsible consumerism, the DTI has incorporated the campaign for eco-friendly shopping and production in this year’s celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month through its theme, “GenS: Generation Sustainable.

This campaign is pursuant to goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that aims for nations to achieve economic growth and sustainable development by reducing carbon footprints by practicing responsible production and consumption.

SDG 12 calls for efficient management of natural resources and careful disposal of toxic waste and pollutants and by encouraging industries, businesses, and consumers to recycle and reduce waste.

“We want every generation to balance good life and sustainable living. This shift in our buying behavior has resulted in waste generation and affected waste management. When shopping online, let us not be add-to-cart happy to avoid accumulating items that we do not need in the end,” Lucas said.

Aside from encouraging consumers to be mindful of their online buying, the DTI is also encouraging manufacturers to transform their waste materials into usable items.

In Baguio and Benguet, Provincial Director Felicitas Bandonil said some manufacturers have started to embrace sustainable production, not only by using eco-friendly packaging materials, but also by upcycling and recycling potential waste products to other items that can be valuable and can command a higher price.

She said some MSMEs have been transforming fresh cutflowers into dried flowers as souvenir and decorative items for weddings while others upcycle waste products into fashion accessories.

She added even furniture makers are starting to reuse waste wood materials into usable items. – Jane B. Cadalig