Environmental Protection Department clarifies plastic packaging policy in response to Don Don Donki’s sushi container change

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24th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) DON DON DONKI, a popular chain supermarket, has replaced its transparent sushi containers with compact paper boxes for customers dining in-store, leading some internet users to jokingly refer to them as “sushi blind boxes.” However, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has issued a statement to clarify that retail supermarkets can still use plastic containers and lids for packaging food, and there is currently no requirement to eliminate plastic usage.

The EPD addressed the issue on its “Big Waster” Facebook page, stating that it was aware of a Japanese-style supermarket’s concern about customers consuming sushi immediately after purchasing it for takeaway. As a result, the supermarket switched to non-plastic meal boxes and lids, creating a perception of “blind boxes.” The EPD emphasized that the situation for retail supermarkets selling packaged food is similar to that of restaurants offering takeaway services. Therefore, supermarkets can continue to use plastic containers and lids for takeaway sushi, allowing customers to easily identify the quality and variety of the food. Customers are still permitted to consume sushi within the supermarket premises.

Furthermore, the EPD received information that some restaurants mistakenly believed that packing food in plastic containers would violate the new legislation. The department clarified that packing food for dine-in customers is not considered equivalent to takeaway, and restaurants can still provide plastic cups and containers for customers to take away their food. The EPD has pledged to conduct explanatory visits to restaurants and retail establishments during the adaptation period to ensure clear understanding, emphasising that customers will not be in violation of the law as a result.