Enough with the excuses, PARKnSHOP. We want change.

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Dear PARKnSHOP, 

Plastic has been an issue for a long time. Thankfully, over the past 6-12 months major stores are starting to take the leap into more and more sustainable packaging. With stores such as UK based Iceland pledging to remove all plastic packaging from their own products [1] and stores dedicating entire aisles to plastic free products [2] I am saddened to hear that you do not want to meet and discuss this issue in person and that you do not seem to be taking the growing trend of plastic free packaging seriously.

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the lack of transparency between yourselves and us, the consumers, who have repeatedly voiced our concerns regarding plastic waste in Hong Kong.

On 4 May 2018, at 12:18, I received an email from yourselves stating:

We are aware of the use of plastic wrapping at supermarkets and we have been trying to strike the right balance between food quality, food safety and environmental concerns. We have urged our suppliers to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging and explore environmentally packaging materials.

Yesterday (16 July 2018), You went on to state:

For those fruit and vegetables shipped from overseas which need adequate protection to ensure the product quality, we are actively working with our suppliers to seek ways to reduce the plastic packaging without damaging the quality. And, for those highly vulnerable products that need extra protection, we are exploring with suppliers to use recyclable packaging materials.

While you state you are ‘discussing’ this issue with your suppliers, I believe that it is simply unacceptable to continue to use this excuse, as you are quoted in a Hong Kong Free Press article [3] dated 25 February 2017 saying you [have] been urging suppliers to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging and explore environmentally friendly packaging materials

The article went on to quote PARKnSHOP stating:

We have also set up an internal task force to review the packaging of our fruit and vegetable products, and discuss ways to reduce packaging from different aspects.

And this excuse goes even further back. A South China Morning Post Article [4] dated 19 May 2016, over two years ago, includes another worryingly familiar statement: 

In general, organic fruits and vegetables are pre-packed to prevent cross-contamination with conventional products...We are reviewing the range of organic fruit and vegetables with a view to reducing packaging.

How much longer will you continue this facade of ‘environmental awareness’?

In your most recent email, you shared a link to your environmentally sustainable practices, including the promotion of ‘reduce, reuse & recycle’. [5] May I mention that a large percentage, if not all of the plastic packaging brought up in previous news articles, as well as a fair amount of Hong Kong citizens, is actually non-recyclable, in Hong Kong at least. I feel that mentioning this to somehow make up for the fact you have outright ignored our requests and responded with the same generic email for years, shows that you do not really care about your customers’ concerns.

We, the consumers, hope that in the coming months you will be willing to being more transparent with your actions, and that we can work together in improving the environment as well as helping PARKnSHOP work on developing an eco-friendly image.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/…/iceland-vows-to-eliminate-pla

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/…/worlds-first-plastic-free-ais

[3] https://www.hongkongfp.com/…/hong-kongs-over-packaging-pro…/

[4] https://www.scmp.com/…/campaign-launched-reduce-plastic-wra

[5] http://www.parknshop.com/en/reduceReuseRecycle



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