I'm not a plastic bag - but I'm wrapped in one

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2007, 12:00am

It might not be a plastic bag, but it comes wrapped in several.

That was how the hotly sought- after 'I'm Not a Plastic Bag' designer bags were finally distributed to buyers yesterday.

Ticket-holders were summoned to a Wellcome supermarket to pick up the Anya Hindmarch-designed items after public sales were abandoned on Friday amid scenes of chaos.

Ironically, each of the bags - touted as environmentally friendly - was wrapped in the kind of plastic bags they are supposed to replace.

First, each bag was wrapped in one bag from the ThreeSixty retail chain that sold them. Then they were packed into two Wellcome plastic bags before finally being handed to their new owners. Many bought two bags - the limit per customer.

No explanation was available from the retailer or the designer last night, but it seemed to be an attempt to make sure the bags were well disguised and to prevent a repetition of last week's frenzy which prompted cancellation of the bag's launch on the mainland.

'Originally they wanted to encourage people to use fewer plastic bags, but the packaging was wrong. There's a contradiction,' Green Power leader Man Chi-sum said. 'People see this as a fashion item after seeing celebrities using them.'

Friends of the Earth director Edwin Lau Che-feng said no one needed a designer bag to get their groceries.

'A simple backpack or any durable bag would be good enough to use as an environmentally friendly bag,' he said.

Ticket-holders said they were asked to pick up their HK$120 bags between 9am and 6pm at Wellcome in The Forum at Exchange Square instead of the original venue, ThreeSixty at The Landmark.

'We're all booked in different time slots,' said Stella Tsui, a ticket-holder who queued up on Friday only to leave empty-handed when the store was closed because it was under siege from hordes of would-be buyers without tickets.

'I think the arrangement last week was bad,' she said. 'They should've just given out the tickets and contacted us individually to make further arrangements, rather than making us line up there the whole day.'

Wellcome is a sister company of ThreeSixty under the management of the Dairy Farm Group.

In Beijing, a salesman at Anya Hindmarch's only mainland store said sales of the bag had been cancelled 'after seeing the radical behaviour of Taiwan and Hong Kong customers'.