A petition for retailers to install refrigerator doors

Posted by Peter MUIR

Before reading on about this petition asking retailers to install refrigerator doors, think about whether signing a petition alone will lead to change.  What else could be done to reach these goals?  How could you advocate for this change?

According to World Wildlife Fund of HK (WWF), their recent survey on Hong Kong grocery retailers’ commercial refrigerators found that it is common for grocery retailers to have refrigerators without doors. This increases the risk of food safety and wastes electricity as well.

A refrigerator with no doors consumes nearly 5,000 units of additional electricity every year than a refrigerator with doors. There are approximately 18,0000 refrigerators with no doors in Hong Kong grocery retailer brands. According to the information above, it is projected to reduce emissions of 51,000 metric tons of carbon annually if all refrigerators have doors installed. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide for over 200 million trees to absorb a year.

Refrigerators with no doors also accelerate climate change. If retailers simply install two refrigerator doors, the monthly electricity savings is equivalent to the electricity consumption of an average Hong Kong household. Installing doors for refrigerators is one of the effective solutions to ease climate change and protect our Earth.

The WWF survey also found that it is more difficult for the refrigerators with no doors to maintain the temperature within the food safety margin. According to The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Food Hygiene Code states that all retailers should check the food on time and ensure all the potential harmful food to be installed at 4 degrees Celsius or below. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that the standard cold storage temperature should be 5 degrees Celsius. The test found that the refrigerators without doors cannot reach 5 degrees Celsius most of the time. It has been recorded as high as 11.4 Celsius in some particular places. According to the Laws of Hong Kong, milk or milk-based beverages during the sales period should be kept below 10 degrees Celsius. However, it is currently common for grocery retailers to have refrigerators with no doors, meaning this cannot fully ensure the food is constantly maintained in a safe environment.

If you wish to sign this petition, do also think about how you can take action to better support these goals.