Greenpeace is urging the public to refrain from impulse buying of unnecessary things in order to reduce waste and help the environment, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Many Hongkongers’ consumption is based on impulsive decisions and many of the things they buy are never used afterwards, Greenpeace said.
In a survey published last year, the group found Hongkongers own 94 pieces of clothing on average — 109 for women and 77 for men.
But 20 of the 109 pieces women bought have never been worn, compared with 10 for men.
Greenpeace commissioned an online survey that interviewed 1,000 Hongkongers and 1,000 Taiwanese aged 20 to 45 from November to mid-December last year.
The results, released Tuesday, show shopping brings satisfaction and excitement to one in seven respondents.
Although more than half of the respondents said such feelings normally last less than a day and more than one in three said they feel empty after shopping, they claimed shopping is still the best way to stir them up.
As much as 80 percent of the respondents said they had bought things they in fact could not afford while 62 percent said they bought unnecessary things after being enticed by buy-one-get-one-free offers or free shipping, according to the survey.
The survey showed 17 percent of Hong Kong respondents are potential shopaholics, implying one in six Hongkongers, or about 450,000 in total, might fall into the category. That compares with 12 percent for Taiwan.
Greenpeace campaigner Bonnie Tang said an experiment conducted overseas suggested 33 pieces of clothing, including tops, pants, skirts and coats, are basically enough.
She said people should change their mindset that buying new clothes is a must for the Lunar New Year holidays.
According to Greenpeace, Hongkongers spend as much as HK$25 billion (US$3.2 billion) a year on new clothes but 20 percent of them have never been worn.
The recycling rate of clothes is only 4 percent, much lower than the 15 percent in the U.S.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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