For everything from cosmetics to sustainable school supplies, here are all the plastic-free, zero-waste or recyclable shops in Hong Kong
By now, we’ve all heard how our daily use of disposable plastics is causing major problems globally. And sadly, recycling will not be enough, as 91% of plastic can’t be recycled. We’re not here to depress you, though! Corporations are taking an eco-friendly turn. Even Starbucks recently committed to transitioning to being plastic straw-free by 2020, aiming to replace them with sipping lids made from recycled materials. As companies and families each make an effort to reduce plastic and disposable consumption, we can better the environmental situation for the future. So where do we start? From refusing plastic shopping bags to carrying around our own refillable cups and bottles, it’s the little changes that count. Now that you know what to do, the question is where do you go? We’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly and waste-free shops for your day-to-day essentials, all plastic free, zero waste or recyclable. Happy shopping!
Food & Produce
The very first zero waste store to open in the fragrant bay, Live Zero carries everything from grains to kombucha to floor cleaner! Make sure to check out its online store for lifestyle items if you don’t want to make the trip out to Sai Ying Pun.
Live Zero, (For Bulk Foods) 24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, and G/F 5 Tak Lung Back Street, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong (opening in September, 2018!); or S102 1/F Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong (pop-up for lifestyle items only),, www.livezero.hk and here for bulk food stock
Offering everything from noodles and rice to tea and other accessories to satisfy your caffeine cravings (think reusable stainless steel pods compatible with your Nespresso machines!), Seed is more than just your neighbourhood boutique grocery store.
Seed, 29 Yee Kuk Street, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, 5703 2223, www.facebook.com/weareseedhongkong
For really great produce and kitchen gear, Lively Life has seasonal fresh produce, as well as different kinds of vinegar and locally made organic kitchen and beauty items. And if you need to fill up that reusable water bottle, it’s got a water station, too.
Lively Life, UG 6, UG/F, CC Wu Building, No. 302-308, Hennessy Road, Hong Kong, 6730 0643, www.facebook.com/livelylifehk
Edgar has a wide range of dried fruits and nuts, as well as a selection of decadent cookies. It does online deliveries, and its membership system will help you save some money in the long run by giving you $5 back for every 100 points to be redeemed in stores.
Edgar, Shop 201 Level 2 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, or Wanchai Star Street Precinct, 5 Moon Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 3101 3030, www.edgar.hk
For those who need a little more spice in their lives, Regency Spices has your back. As a premium spice provider, it sources and sells spices and herbs without passing a middleman, ensuring that you won’t be getting fillers in your containers which dilute the kick you want in your food. Holding a long history in Hong Kong, it offers custom spice blends upon request. Visit its showroom in Tsuen Wan with your own containers to purchase (but do remember to call ahead for availability if you’re looking for something in particular!)!
Regency Spices, Shop A 8/F Ming Wah Building, 17-33 Wang Lung Street, Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong, 2517 6577, www.regencyspices.hk
If you’re on the hunt for a healthy alternative to soda, look no further than kombucha, a fizzy, fermented tea drink that’s great for your gut. Taboocha is a local brand made fresh in the city and uses all-natural ingredients and probiotics in its kombucha. Carried by multiple locations across town, the company has a recycling scheme for the glass bottles its product is sold in; just ask your retailer how you can return your bottle when you’re done! Cheers to a healthier kind of bubbly!
Whether you’re looking to stock up on liquors for cooking or drinking, Vom Fass will set you up. Touting liquors, vinegars and oils, and even a few select flavoured salts, you’ll be required to purchase containers from its company your first time there, but you can bring them back again and again for reuse! Although the store in Tsim Sha Tsui is the largest with the most stock, if there’s something particular you’re looking for, you can place an order with its online store (free domestic shipping with spending over $540!).
Vom Fass, 59B Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2366 6768, or (Tai Koo Shing) Eslite Spectrum, Cityplaza, 18 Tai Koo Shing Road, Taikoo, Hong Kong, 3419 1145, (Tseung Kwan O) YATA Supermarket, Level 2 East Point City, 8 Chung Wa Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories, Hong Kong, 3468 2599, (Yuen Long) YATA Supermarket, YOHO Mall I, 8 Long Yat Road, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, 3997 3864, www.vomfass.com.hk
Founded by three mums in 2012, Eat Fresh HK is a subscription service delivering fresh, local, organically farmed goods on a weekly basis. With three different subscription options including baby and toddler boxes and green juicing plans, Eat Fresh HK is perfect for busy mamas looking for ways to feed their families the freshest foods.
Head here for custom blends of loose-leaf floral teas hidden among ornate vintage decor, gilded antiques and gorgeous dried arrangements of roses and other flora and fauna. Just bring your own container and request for the staff to transfer your teas!
Ms Audrey, G/F, Chung Shan House, No.4-6 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2526 8036, and Flat B 13/F Mai Sik Ind Building, 1-11 Kwai Ting Road, Kwai Chung, N.T. Hong Kong, 2279 9664, www.msaudrey.com
Online One-Stop Shops
Inspired by nature and the minimalist, zero-waste lifestyle, Plastic Free HK aims to provide better access to eco-friendly options for everyday items to point the city towards a less disposable and plastic-free world. Based in The Hive in Sai Kung, picking up your order in person is an option that means free shipping, but if that’s too far or you’re too busy, shipping is free for domestic orders over $500, or flat rates will be calculated by the Hong Kong Post Office. Check out its selection of all natural deodorants by Meow Meow Tweet, or snag a cute printed lunch bag for your kid!
Plastic Free HK, 5 Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, www.plasticfreehk.com
Locally based at The Hive in Kennedy Town, NO!W, or Now NO Waste, carries a selection of anti-disposal starter kits, perfect for zero-waste beginners and gifting. With an aim to do good – not just for the environment but also the community – NO!W is looking into creating a work programme with St. James Settlement in the near future. Along with metal straw kits and bamboo toothbrushes (complete with carrying pouches and cases), it offers an array of other reusable items, including collapsible cups and water bottles. No more excuses; it’s time to ditch the paper cups and plastic bottles!
NO!W, pick ups at The Hive, 6/F Cheung Hing Industrial Building (Unit 1), 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 5210 1380, www.now-nowaste.com
Founded by zero-waste blogger Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers (she fit five years worth of waste in a 16oz mason jar!), the Package Free Shop offers everything from menstrual cups to organic cotton bedding and beyond to items for travel and kids. There are even sustainable back-to-school supplies! Using only post-consumer packing materials rescued from their previous owners and paper packing tape, everything your items come in is 100% recyclable and compostable.
Package Free Shop, www.packagefreeshop.com
Also, check out…
Life Without Plastic – For stationery, cloth diapers, and other items, some of which are sourced sustainably from China.
Womb – For sustainable, vegan, ethical and ecological products by small designers.
Wild Minimalist – For cute vintage style homeware and cotton mesh produce bags.
Shampoo bars, bath bombs, face masks, galore! This British brand is all about bringing your hair and skin only the most natural ingredients. With everything handmade and as eco-friendly as possible, the cosmetics company is committed to banning animal testing and recycling. By making 35% of its products solid, it cuts back on packaging, and for the products that require a container, it has a recycling return program. Simply save your empty and clean LUSH containers and return five of them at a time to any store in town and it’ll give you a free face mask in return! You can read more about its packaging here and the recycling program here.
When it comes to caring for our babies, we only want the best for them, so organic and plastic-free should be a natural choice. On Biome, there’s a large range of earth friendly choices for your littlest ones, from balms and salves to soft toys and baby bottles. It also carries a selection of other products for the rest of the family, ensuring strict standards and researching its products and companies before sourcing from them to make some real change. International shipping flat rates start at $15 AUD; more information regarding shipping prices can be found here.
If some fancy new 99% zero waste dental floss won’t convince us to floss, maybe the pretty refillable containers will! Sold in colourful little glass containers with stainless steel caps filled with 100% Mulberry silk floss that’s coated in microcrystalline wax, the floss is also available in refillable bags made of 100% post-consumer paperboard and is 100% compostable. Now there’s a reason to be excited about dental floss!
Also check out…
Aesop – For hair and skincare made from ingredients of the highest quality that blends contemporary technology with scientific practices.
Meow Meow Tweet – For vegan, baking soda-free deodorants, available on Plastic-Free HK and Package Free Shop.
We’ve got the edible aspects of the kitchen covered, so it’s time to talk about what goes on sink side. This revolutionary, 100% biodegradable sponge made completely of wood pulp is made in the US and although thin, definitely pulls its weight by being capable of doing the work of 30 paper towel rolls and reducing 13 billion tons of waste in a landfill per year. It doesn’t ship to Hong Kong yet, but you can purchase it through Womb here.
BYOB, especially if the fabric is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles! With a variety of styles, colours, and sizes to choose from for multiple purposes, Onya carries bags for everything from your regular day-to-day haul to bulk food bags and even sandwich wraps! Produced responsibly in China, this Australian company is slowly helping to clear our landfills of discarded bottles. Hey, one man’s trash is another man’s (or should we say, mama’s) treasure!
Have you ever looked at a bamboo stalk and thought “Hmm, how soft!”? Neither have we, until Bamboa came along. Offering luxuriously silky sheets made 100% from bamboo fibre optics, the company also offers towels, T-shirts, homeware and accessories. Sourced sustainably to support rural bamboo communities, it offers custom bedding sizes, perfect for those who prefer more space or simply can’t fit a properly sized one into their tiny Hong Kong apartments.
Bamboa, S304 Block A Staunton, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2291 0285, www.bamboahome.com
Also check out…
We Wood Wear – For vegan and eco-friendly phone cases, watches, and sunglasses.
Founded in 2010 by a makeup artist and worn by multiple celebrities since, the Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, vegan makeup brand features strong pigmentation and luxurious textures across their products. The brand touts cosmetics ranging from brow pencils and foundations to baked highlighters and eyeshadow quads and a lineup of vegan brushes.
Antonym Cosmetics, www.antonymcosmetics.com or available at Mint Organics, L8 Kiosk, Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2468 2295 and Shop 260A, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West, Mong Kok, 2468 2539, www.skincorner.com.hk
Created in Taos, New Mexico with unique formulas and alchemical blending techniques, Vapour Beauty offers everything from foundation to skincare and solid perfumes. With 26 shades of Siren Lipstick to choose from and a “Clean Swaps” page that can help you determine which of their products to replace your current favourites with, switching over to an eco-friendly life has just gotten easier.
Committed to sustainability and environmental consciousness, Elate Beauty offers a range of makeup products including eyeshadow trios and vegan brushes, all featuring packaging, cases, and handles made of bamboo, making it all fully recyclable. You can also purchase refills for your cases when you’ve finished a favourite to reduce the number of resources consumed!
Elate Beauty, www.elatebeauty.com or available at Beauty Skill HK, 7/F Yau Lee Centre, 45 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 6282 6484, www.beautyskillshk.com, Carrie Carries, (Causeway Bay) 301B 3/F Hysan Place, 500 Hennesy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 3428 5741, (Tsim Sha Tsui) L212 L2 The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3586 0286, (Kowloon Bay) Shop 341-342 3/F Telford Plaza 2, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3101 0807, www.carriewears.com, or at Plastic Free HK, www.plasticfreehk.com
Also check out…
Keeping It Natural – For multitasking pigmented lip and cheek tints and cake mascaras that come in zero waste, fully recyclable aluminium tins.
RMS Beauty – For skincare-based makeup in fully recyclable containers with a cult following, available at Beyorg Beauty or various locations .
Lex Living – For everything reusable, including collapsable bowls (for babies and kids, too!), flower pots, cutlery and more.