Only genuine actions will lead us to plastic-free. Leading Confectionery Brands should Act immediately

Only genuine actions will lead us to Plastic-free

Hong Kong is a 4.1 billion market of pre-packed confectionery items (Chocolate, Gums and Candies). Hongkongers consumed 340 million plastic external packaging for candies in 2019 whereby the amount for the inner individual packaging wasn’t included. These packagings are made of different types of plastics, some are composite materials, most lack of a recycling label and more are contaminated by food. The Green Earth (TGE) points out that such plastic packaging is almost impossible to recycle in Hong Kong and they often became trash.
TGE found via the following ways that major confectionery brands in Hong Kong have taken no actions to reduce plastic since 2018:
1. Market research data that shows MARS, Ferrero and Nestle dominates the confectionery market in Hong Kong by around 40% in terms of the sales revenue. These international brands promised in 2018 that they will implement a series of plastic reduction measures by 2025, such as “Clear recycling instructions for packaging”, “100% packaging is recyclable, reusable and degradable materials”.
2. Regarding the plastic packaging imports data, local environmental targets, schedules of plastic reduction, none of these brands responded with real action plans in the Hong Kong market to reach their 2025 targets. Apart from Nestlé’s stated that there are dedicated colleagues to follow up on the packaging data for products sold in Hong Kong, Ferrero admitted the absence of such data. MARS gave no specific responses, but to reiterate its international commitments.
3. TGE surveyed over 400 kinds of pre-packed confectionery products in 13 major supermarkets and chain stores. More than half (53%) of the product packaging did not have a recycling label. The brands also did not provide zero-packaged purchase, products sold in reusable packaging, nor recycling service for their packaging.
While these brands invested much more in the US, Australia and Europe on pilot recycling schemes, sorting and recycling technologies, they have done close to nothing in Hong Kong since 2018, despite the overflowing landfill crisis and handicapped recycling systems that exacerbate the city’s waste challenges with their plastic packaging.
The Green Earth urges all confectionery producers to set plastic reduction targets for Hong Kong; introduce zero-packaged purchase; and develop non-plastic packaging alternatives. Only genuine actions will lead us to plastic-free. The Hong Kong Government should make packaging reporting mandatory by referencing Singapore’s Mandatory Packaging Reporting Policy, which would help reduce plastic usage throughout the entire product supply chain.
Credit:Researcher Linus Cheung, Lawrence Yeung; Marketing Analyst Emily Yuen
Press Enquiries:
Edmond Lau; Senior Project Officer, The Green Earth
Edwin Lau, MH; Founder & Executive Director, The Green Earth
Tel.:3708 8380