More than a passing trend or social media challenge, the zero waste movement has proven itself to be a legitimate lifestyle choice for those wanting to live life a little more sustainably. Follow the 5 ‘R’s’: Refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse by using reusables; recycle; and rot (or compost) the rest. So far, so simple right? That is, until you come up against an economy that values the very opposite of zero waste – as is the case in Hong Kong.
But fear not my fellow 852 city dwellers, I’ve found 4 local, independent Hong Kong-based stores to help you take the first step in the fight against waste. Keep reading to find out more.
Where: 24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
At Live Zero, the concept is simple; customers are encouraged to bring their own pots, jars or bags to fill up with everything from pasta and lentils, oil, coffee, and even hand soap, that the store stocks in bulk. The idea is to cut back on the single use plastic bags and wrapping we get given so carelessly at the large supermarkets. Live Zero also has an excellent collection of reusable cups, cutlery, straws and food wrap for those times when packaging of some kind is needed. Overall, it’s a must-visit for those serious about cutting back on unnecessary waste.
Plastic Free HK
Inspired by nature and the minimalist lifestyle, Plastic Free HK was born from one family’s desire to reduce their plastic waste output. Fast forward two years, and Plastic Free HK has firmly established itself as a veritable mainstay of Hong Kong’s zero waste scene. They’re overall goal is to work towards a “non-disposable and plastic-free world” by offering thoughtfully-designed, ecologically-crafted plastic alternatives. I especially love their wide selection of sustainable cleaning products and food storage options.
NO!W No Waste
Are you a zero waste first-timer? Then you have to check out NO!W No Waste, an online platform giving access to reusable and compostable products, as well as practical tips and tricks to help you adjust to the zero waste lifestyle. Their edited collection is packed full of products which are recyclable and BPA free (where possible). What’s more, although most of the products are designed in France, they are actually produced in China in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
Where: K11 Natural, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
As Hong Kong’s first no waste grocery store, I think its fair to say that Edgar is ahead of the curve when it comes to this zero waste business. As you might expect, the store stocks all the pantry essentials including pasta and tea, but it’s the range of healthy organic snack food that’s the real star of the show here. Think chocolate coated pumpkin seeds and freeze dried okra. Remember to take your container to the cashier before you start loading up on goodies so that they can correctly weigh your purchases!