Ditch the Plastic: 5 Things to Help You Live More Sustainably in Hong Kong

12 March, 2018
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Lifestyle

Ditch the Plastic: 5 Things to Help You Live More Sustainably in Hong Kong

Your eco friendly starter pack

 

Did you know that Hong Kong throws away over 5.2 million plastic bottles every day? Or that during the rainy season (June – September), we chuck away as many as 14 million disposable plastic umbrella covers in just those few months?

We know that living sustainably in Hong Kong is no easy feat, and that there will always be days where you have to accept a plastic bag, or order a wonton soup that comes in a plastic container, but it’s the little changes that we make day to day that can enable a habit! Not sure where to start? We’ve found five things that can help you to live a more eco friendly life in the city we love most…

Read more: How to Recycle in Hong Kong: Hassle-Free Tips for Reducing WasteEco Friendly Dining: These Hong Kong Restaurants Are Saying No to Single-Use Plastic

Featured image credited to The Lion Rock Press via Facebook, image #1 courtesy of Unsplash, image #2 credited to northcarolinaprep.tumblr.com sourced via Pinterest, image #3 credited to apartmentherapy.com sourced via Pinterest, image #4 credited to i.pinimg.com sourced via Pinterest, image #5 credited to Urbanoutfitters.com sourced via Pinterest

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Shopping and Produce Bags

Plastic bags account for over 50% of the 13,000 tonnes of waste sent to landfills each day,” [source: Green Power Hong Kong] so why are we still mindlessly using plastic bags, just to stop our lemons from rolling around the trolley?

We’ll hedge our bets that you already have a tote somewhere at home – so our next question is, are you using it? Most supermarkets and outdoor markets such as Temple Street, will sell shoppers that can be folded away into tiny pouches and popped in your bag, ready for your evening food haul – but if you don’t have one, you’ll find hundreds to buy in stores and online in Hong Kong. Carry a spare tote for loose produce, or check out these reusable, organic cotton produce bags that come in a set of three – perfect for the wet market too!

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Reusable Water Bottles and Keep Cups

Whether you’re rocking a marble-patterned S’well, or keeping it real with a Cotton On dupe (we won’t tell!), ditch plastic bottles for good by keeping one of these by your side and fill it as you go (tip: they also keep your wine ice-cold). Same goes for your morning cup of coffee! It’s estimated that 50 billion polyethylene-lined disposable coffee cups are thrown away each year in the US  [source: CNN] (let alone Hong Kong, or across the globe), so by keeping a thermos in your bag, you’re no longer aiding a problem, but working towards a solution!

Not sure where to buy one? Click on a couple of our faves below:

– The Lion Rock Press (Keep cups and stainless steel bottles)
– Apartment49 (Keep cups and canteens)
– Thorn and Burrow (S’well bottles)
– Cotton On (Drink bottles)

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Beeswax Wraps and Reusable Food Storage

Made from beeswax and cotton, these food wraps are an awesome alternative to clingfilm and single-use zip locks, which end up straight in landfills, or strewn across Hong Kong’s beautiful beaches. Easy to wipe down with cool water, they last for up to a year, keeping your food both fresh and breathable – and not to mention saving you money! These silicone storage bags are another one to add to your eco friendly starter pack, too. Store meat (or even smoothie ingredients) in the fridge or freezer ready for when the sun starts to shine and you fire up the grill.

Not sure where to buy one? Click on a couple of our faves below:

Plastic Free HK
NO!W No Waste
Pyaar
Live Zero

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Long-Life Lunchbox

“On average, we [Hong Kongers] generate 1.36kg (3lbs) of domestic waste per person, per day” [source: Hong Kong Free Press], and it’s not hard to believe with restaurants, supermarkets and takeaways continuously packaging food in polystyrene and plastic containers. But, with many of our city’s restaurants starting to say “no” to single-use plastic waste, we’re begining to make waves!

Help limit waste by bringing your own reusable tupperware with you to work or as you grab a quick takeaway on the way home. Many restos are more than happy to fill up your tub instead of using its own branded, plastic packaging! Grab one from your nearest Japan Home Centre, or check out online stores such as Plastic Free HK, which stock  stainless steel lunch boxes, too.

Read more: Live Zero: Hong Kong’s First Zero Waste Grocery Store Opens in Sai Ying Pun

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Reusable Straws and Cutlery

“Due to the lack of recycling outlets in Hong Kong, we produce 2,000-tonnes of plastic waste on a daily basis” [source: Green Earth HK] including plastic packaging, bottles, cutlery and of course, straws. And while there are no estimates for the number of straws discarded in Hong Kong per day, Indonesian resto, Potato Head concluded that if its six bartenders made an average of 35 drinks per night, they would be needlessly using 250 straws a day and creating an excess of half a tonne of plastic waste in one year – and that’s just ONE business!

If you’re going to make one change, why not suck on a metal straw instead? Affordable to buy and literally taking up no space, keep one in your bag (along with a set of metal cutlery!) so you can “just say no” when you’re sipping on your next cocktail.

Not sure where to buy one? Click on a couple of our faves below:

Plastic Free HK
NO!W No Waste
Live Zero

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