Partial to Plastics

Partial to Plastics

28 May, 2015
Half of HK Uses Disposables
Survey Reveals HK Residents' Bottled Water Habits

In Hong Kong, 53.1 per cent of the population "usually drinks bottled water". Of these, 16 per cent are "heavy consumers" - and "convenience" is the main reason cited for reaching for a disposable plastic bottle rather than the tap or a fountain.
Such were the findings of a survey conducted by independent policy think tank Civic Exchange. The survey, intended to help policymakers develop laws to reduce bottled water consumption and plastic waste, interviewed 1,013 Hong Kong residents by phone.
It also found only 26.2 per cent respondents had used a water dispenser in last six months, and that 46.4 per cent of people are willing to use them, provided "standards of availablity and quality are met". It also found, tellingly, that 45.5 per cent of Hong Kong residents are dissatisfied with the arrangements for plastic bottle collection.
Following the survey results, Civic Exchange CEO Yan-yan Yip held a dialogue with a roundtable of Hong Kong NGOs, including WWF, Hong Kong Cleanup, Ecozine, Friends of the Earth, Plastic Free Seas and Living Lamma, to discuss the way forward following the results.
Points of action discussed include:

  • Generating greater awareness of the high quality of Hong Kong's tap water and the reliability of Hong Kong's plastic waste recycling system.
  • Educating the public about how to minimise waste through organising and participating in events like the upcoming Zero Waste Week.
  • Position more water dispensers with high quality water in prominent and convenient locations rather than only in sports and recreation venues.
  • Encourage new developers to provide pantry with a tap in each floor and give incentives to employers to retrofit potable tap water sources.

It is estimated that 19.7 per cent of Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste comes from plastic waste, translating into 1,656 tonnes of plastic generated per day. Plastic bottles are an easily avoidable source of waste.
Attend the ZERO WASTE GLOBAL SUMMIT, Thursday, June 11, Cyberport
Register here for Hong Kong (and Asia's!) first international zero waste conference. The event includes captivating speeches from local policymakers such as Christine Loh, Undersecretary for the Environment and global zero waste experts, including Dr Paul Connett, author of The Zero Waste Solution (US) and Joan Marc Simon, Director of Zero Waste Europe, (Spain). Speeches will be followed by lively panel discussions and engaging workshops. A must-attend for all sustainable development pioneers in Asia. SPACES ARE LIMITED so get your tickets as soon as possible. Read more.

Leading up to Zero Waste Week, we are encouraging individuals, communities, businesses and schools to take a week-long pledge to help minimise the waste sent to landfill in HK during this week. Anything from using no plastic straws to not printing anything! These pledges will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday, and from this we will be able to gauge what is possible for HK with just a few minor lifestyle changes. Sign up and take your pledge (for you, your family, and/or your business here). Please also SPREAD THE WORD to your environmentally-engaged friends, clients, employees to do the same, follow Zero Waste Week on Facebook, and download and share the ZWW promotional material.

Corporate bodies can take part in the ZERO WASTE CORPORATE ROUNDTABLE, Monday June 8, Nomura, IFC, 12-2pm

Register here to take part in the discussion with Hong Kong's business leaders on How to Achieve a Zero Waste Target for your office

Come and join the fun at the ZERO WASTE WEEKEND FESTIVAL, Sat-Sun, June 13-14, Cyberport, 10am-6pm

A whole weekend of sustainably-minded fun for the family! The Zero Waste Weekend Festival at Cyberport will feature art, interactive games and activities, presentations, and a hand-curated eco marketplace showcasing local eco-friendly and healthy products. Expect fun surprises and plenty of entertainment for children and grownups alike!
Civic Exchange's Reducing Plastic Waste in Hong Kong: Public Opinion Survey on Bottled Water Consumption and Attitudes Towards Plastic Waste full report and summary report is available online. 

First Image Credit -

By: Kathy Yin and Alex Andersson


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