Too much bubble wrap? - Oceana Philippines
Home / Press Releases / Too much bubble wrap?

Too much bubble wrap?

This holistic wellness bulk and multichannel store delivers to your doorstep fully plastic-free

Press Release Date: November 24, 2021



At a time when bubble-wrapped packages seem to be the norm, a Makati-based wellness bulk and multichannel store dares to make a difference by going fully plastic-free.

Offering a package-free wellness store of natural and sustainable living essentials, Humble Market owner Roanna Medina said that it was her battle with Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid condition that disrupts the production of hormones and causes slow metabolism, that prompted her to totally do away with plastic products and prioritize her health over “convenience”.

Now a practicing Integrative Nutrition and Functional Medicine health coach, Medina changed her diet and lifestyle because she wanted to become healthier. However, she and her clients saw the lack of stores and services catering to their sustainable lifestyle choices.  This gave her the idea to start her wellness bulk and multichannel store.

Envisioned to provide organic and healthy food and personal care options for Filipinos, Humble Market first opened its doors in Mandaluyong City in 2018. The store promotes sustainability by offering food items to be purchased by the gram and either packaged in reusable containers (brought by customers) or glass jars (also being sold by the store).

“As I got deeper into this lifestyle and expanded my awareness and what it would take to truly become healthy, of course, part of it involved the environment,” she said in an interview. “There is this realization that we have already spent decades on this earth and have continued to consume so many products in plastic – exposing our bodies to a variety of toxins and their negative impacts.”

This was confirmed in various studies emphasizing the dangers plastic pollution has on human health. The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) studied the negative impacts of plastic pollution on climate and human health. Its 2019 report, Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet revealed that humans are exposed to a wide variety of toxins and microplastics through inhalation, ingestion, and direct skin contact.

Medina said she had the idea way back in 2016, but she was traveling at the time. When she came back home in 2017, she worked with friends to start Humble Market with the intent to use just natural ingredients because she wanted to reduce her toxin exposure. “Then I realized that I was already using all-natural ingredients, but these were packaged in plastic. And so, for me to get to that next level where I truly wanted to create better health for myself, for my friends, families — it had to be something that could also help the environment,” said Medina.

“Before we opened our doors in 2018, we made sure we had set product standards. We have non-negotiables in what we wouldn’t accept in our stores, and we didn’t want any products that had artificial ingredients and chemicals. We don’t accept anything that is packaged in plastic and we’re really strict about that because we understand the impact it has on the environment,” she added.

Humble Market has since moved to its new location in Glorietta shopping mall in Makati City, which now serves as the base of its operations during the pandemic. And while there have been changes to the operations due to pandemic restrictions in the country, customers have continued to patronize Humble Market for their needs.

“As a business, if you’re clear on what it is that you want to accomplish – and we were really clear in setting those standards even before we opened – it will be easier to find suppliers and customers whose standards and lifestyle choices resonated with ours. We began with a focus on the reusable, compostable, biodegradable, and that continues even now,” said Medina.

“We have received notes of gratitude from our customers for being their ally as they make these changes in their lifestyle.  I believe everyone wants to create change but sometimes we don’t know how or don’t have access to things that would help us. And even though we’re a small store, we want to set an example and provide that access to our customers,” she added.

Oceana has been reaching out to eco-enterprises to look into the alternative products and packaging to plastics that are already being used in the country. Humble Market is one of these businesses that continue to champion the sustainability option despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.

In July this year, Oceana Vice President Gloria Estenzo Ramos wrote in an op-ed about the dangers posed on the environment by all the plastic packaging that are being used by online shopping apps Lazada and Shopee.

“Plastic does not degrade; even the ones that are said to be biodegradable. They become microplastics. Most of these end up at the bottom of the ocean, sometimes entangling and eventually killing marine animals or getting broken down into microplastics that contaminate the seafood we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe,” she wrote in the said article.

“We need to promote and support responsible businesses like Humble Market and show other business owners that going plastic-free can and should be done by everyone. The health of the people, sentient beings and that of the planet is at stake here and we need to work together to safeguard our present and our future,” said Ramos.


For More Information:

Joyce Sierra,Communications Manager, Oceana