People are slowly but surely waking up to the world’s plastic pollution problem. The food and beverage industry is under enormous pressure to make changes, with ‘top dogs’ such as Starbucks having recently announced that it plans to “eliminate single-use plastic straws from its more than 28,000 company operated and licensed stores by making a strawless lid or alternative-material straw options available, around the world.” And they should be under pressure! Together, we have consumed and produced over “9 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s, and the vast majority of it has been thrown in the trash,” with “a whopping 91% of this plastic not recycled.”
So, what can we do about it? Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. Just start small and start now, focussing on the things that you are able to change, such as refusing plastic bags, carrying a refillable bottle with you, and taking the time to shop at places which limit the amount of plastic packaging you take home. There’s change happening in Hong Kong, with businesses banning plastic straws and a new wave of zero-waste shops opening across the city, and we’re all for it! Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a list of where you can buy your day-to-day essentials – plastic and waste-free!From pantry staples to washing up liquid, hand soap and more, here’s to reducing, reusing and recycling…
Zero-waste and Bulk Food Stores
Live Zero: Claiming the title of Hong Kong’s first, completely zero waste and packaging-free grocery store, Live Zero stock a huge array of organic products including pantry-staples, beauty and home essentials. Forget your container? Use one of the many tupperware and reusable bottles donated by the community!
Live Zero Bulk Foods, 24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.livezero.hk,
Edgar: Those living across the Harbour should definetly check out Edgar in TST, another bulk-buy store that gets a big tick from us, bring your own containers and stock up on seeds, pastas cereals and snacks – all without unnecessary packaging. Edgar has also since opened a store on Moon Street in Wan Chai!
Seed: New zero-waste store on the block, Seed is on hand to serve those out in the ‘Kung. Giving us zero excuses and the means to live a more waste and plastic-free lifestyle, Seed provides everything you need to keep the kitchen well-stocked (think spices, cupboard-staples like pasta, dried nuts, fruit and legumes) as well as household cleaning products (laundry detergent, soaps etc.), beauty and personal items.
Seed, 29 Yee Kuk Street, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
Audrey Vintage Shop: This store is an absolute tea wonderland. With products hailing from regions in France, Malaysia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan, you’re bound to find something to your taste in this whimsical store on Gough Street. Bring your own jar and dispense your pick of earl grey, oolong, lemongrass chamomile and more.
Audrey Vintage Shop, Chung Shan House No.4-6 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/AudreyVintageShop
Lively Life: You’re sure to find everything you need to live a waste-free life at Lively Life on Hennessy Road. Here you’ll be able to snap up fresh produce, vinegars, rice and noodles that are available to bulk buy as well as an array of organic kitchen and beauty items, some of which are locally made. There is even a free water station.
Lively Life, UG 6, UG/F, CC Wu Building, No. 302-308, Hennessy Road, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/livelylifehk
Regency Spices: This family-owned business sources some of the best spices from all corners of the globe. Regency Spices is a one-stop for stocking up on all your spices, seasonings and herbs – they will even create custom blends for you upon request – just let them know what you’re looking for!
Regency Spices Showroom (limited items available at the showroom so you will need call ahead to check availability): 5/F, 122 Connaught Road West, Qualipak Tower, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.regencyspices.hk
Reusable Lifestyle Products
We’re thrilled to see that coffee shops across Hong Kong are offering up discounts and incentives for customers who bring their own coffee cups, as well as a huge turn over in restos who are refusing to serve plastic straws and instead are offering bamboo and paper alternatives. These small changes can make a huge difference, and once bought, can be used again and again. So if you’re not sure where to buy one for yourself, check out some of the stores stocking them below:
Keep cups and reusable bottles
- Apartment 49
- Thorn and Burrow
- Live Zero
- The Lion Rock Press
- Cotton On
- Plastic Free HK
- Eco Concepts
It’s not just food packaging that we need to be held accountable for, but it’s time we thought about our day-to-day cleaning and beauty essentials too. In 2014, an estimated 1.4 million bottles, and 1,000 tonnes of plastic bags were thrown out each day in Hong Kong [source: HK Free Press], not including our addiction to using and discarding beauty products such as tubes of mascara, body washes and lotions as well as surface cleaners and dishwashing liquids. Although the statistics are depressing, waste-free shops which are popping up around the city are giving us a choice – we can repurchase, or we can repurpose what we already have and instead refill empty bottles or buy packing-free makeup.
Read more: Cruelty-Free Makeup and Skincare Products
Refillable and zero-packaging cleaning products
Refillable and zero-packaging beauty essentials
For more tips on how to reducing waste in Hong Kong click here!
Author: Lexi Davey
Source: Sassy Hong Kong (Lifestyle Category)