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Originally published by Amanda Sheppard. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
We know you’ve rolled your eyes and scrolled right past that video of Woody Harrelson and Billie Eilish talking about climate change on Twitter, but there’s no hiding from the fact that our planet is in dire straits. From water bottles and polystyrene packaging to the plastic wrap on fruit and veg in supermarkets, single-use plastics are wreaking havoc in Hong Kong, and household waste accounts for more than two-thirds of this. With more than 900 million bottles being used each year, this pandemic is in need of a solution, and quickly.
The easiest way to do your part in lessening the negative impacts we create is by cutting out plastic and single-use packaging. Think of the polar bears stranded on melting bits of ice, feel that little twinge in your heart, and head out to these zero-waste stores in Hong Kong to get started!
There’s already lots to think about with regards to dry produce and household goods, but vomFass takes care of your liquid staples as well. Find a large selection of oils, vinegar, wine, spirits, and liqueurs to stock your cabinets with, and then some. Simply purchase a container on your first visit, then bring it back whenever it needs a refill. They also offer a small selection of gourmet food and condiments, though these are not quite packaging-free yet. With four locations across Hong Kong, it should not be difficult to pop by in person, but you can also shop online.
vomFass, locations across Hong Kong | (+852) 2366 6768
Live Zero is Hong Kong’s first zero-waste bulk food store, created by Tamsin Thornburrow who has also brought us the hip homeware store Thorn & Burrow. We love sifting through their range of beautiful and cleverly designed products including kitchenware, body care, and alternative food packaging, on top of various organic foodstuffs. Spread across two locations in Sai Ying Pun and Sai Kung, there’s no reason for you not to pop in.
Nobody has ever needed another reason to hang around the Star Street precinct, but here’s a good one anyway. After years of running pop-up stores, it’s great to be able to visit Edgar at its permanent address on Moon Street. They source natural, organic, and fair-trade products in bulk from Europe, so bring your own bags and Tupperware to stock up on all the pasta, grains, cereals, and snacks you need. We love grabbing a kombucha and sampling our way through their huge dried fruits selection (the staff are very generous with the portions they give out). Grab a reusable silicone snack bag and pick your own mix before leaving!
Edgar, 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 3484 2088
Founded in 2013, Organic We caters to the city’s conscious consumers. In a district surrounded by neon lights and a hectic environment, the store shuns pre-fab life and opts instead for a slower pace of life. Products are sold with reduced packaging, and the store places an emphasis on environmental and animal-friendly items that range from food and pantry staples to makeup, pet supplies, and hygiene and personal goods.
Organic We, Shop 1601, 16/F, Good Hope Building, 5 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 3791 2666
This beloved boutique grocer in Sai Kung contains all your kitchen staples such as grains, seeds, spices, teas, as well as soaps and detergents. Everything here is naturally packaging-free, so have your bottles or Mason jars on hand to take home some of Seed’s homemade sunscreen and hand wash. Seed also caters to your four-legged friends, because why shouldn’t pets be environmentally conscious as well? We think their stainless steel reusable coffee capsules are a particularly good investment. No more forgetting to return your used pods to Nespresso and then feeling guilty about it!
Seed, 29 Yee Kuk Street, Sai Kung, New Territories | (+852) 5703 2223
This bright industrial space looks like a minimalist Scandinavian showroom promoting hygge, but is, in fact, a 3,000-square-foot haven for sustainable groceries. Browse through their bulk bins and refill stations for an extensive collection of dry pantry staples, ready-to-eat snacks, cleaning products, and personal care items. There are also plenty of raw, vegan, and gluten-free options to choose from. Co-owner Dora Lam has even made sure the store’s eco-friendly ethos extends to the design itself; shelves are made from recycled papier-mâché material and the café’s furniture from decomposed fungi. In case you forget your own containers, muslin bags and glass jars are available for purchase.