A petition is calling upon Hong Kong supermarkets to “stop the excessive and unnecessary use of plastic wrap and plastic containers for their produce.”

The petition has amassed over 4,500 signatures but is aiming for 100,000. It takes aim at the owners of Wellcome, CitySuper and ParknShop stores and was organised by Plastic-Free HK, a new social initiative and company which sells eco-friendly household items.

plastic packaging
Photo: HKFP/Kris Cheng.

Lisa Odell, founder of the pressure group, told HKFP that she hoped to spark a dialogue: “The plastic pollution epidemic is growing out of control and the destruction being done to the marine life, as well as my own desire to live more in line with nature, promoted and inspired me to take action. Change has to start somewhere so I thought I would give it my best try.”

The Sai Kung resident said that the petition represents a collective voice: “Already over 4,500 people have said, in our own words, that we do not want our food wrapped in unnecessary plastic, that we’re concerned for the growing plastic pollution problem, for our children’s futures and that we want a shift toward more sustainable living to happen now.”

Last year, Hongkongers took to the city’s beaches after several became swamped with plastic trash.

plastic hong kong
Photo: Plastic Free Hong Kong.

A spokesperson for Wellcome told HKFP that it is monitoring the situation: “Wellcome is continually making efforts to minimize unnecessary packaging, while at the same time ensuring that customers get food of the highest quality, hygiene and freshness. As such, environmental issues are taken into consideration and regularly reviewed as part of our sourcing strategy.”

It said it supported a number of environmental initiatives including energy saving, waste reduction and food recycling programmes.

Have you spotted any egregious examples of plastic wrapping at Hong Kong supermarkets? Email your photos to HKFP.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.