(Summary of the Chinese Press Release on 31 March 2021) The number of beverage plastic bottles has been among the top marine garbage in the world for many years, also an important indicator for marine waste monitoring. In 2019-2020, The Green Earth conducted 40 beach cleanups, counted a total of 10,349 waste plastic bottles, and compiled the “Annual Report on Beverage Plastic Bottle Brand Survey (2019-2020)”. The data suggested that the most common plastic bottle found in Hong Kong beaches are from 1. the new entrant to the market — China Resources C’estbon, 2. the global beverage giant Coca-Cola, and 3. the local brand Vita.
Further analysis was carried out. A few observations below:
1. There were 9,778 plastic bottles, out of the 10,349, with identifiable brands.
2. 6,044 (62%), 3,485 (35.6%) and 249 (2.5%) brands are in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese and other languages respectively.
3. 6,454 (66%) were water beverages and 3,324 (34%) were non-water beverages.
The Green Earth advocates for three actions:
1. Newcomers to the market, especially China Resources C’estbon, new IPO in Hong Kong Nongfu Spring must be responsible for their environmental pollution when they do business here in Hong Kong.
2. The Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR Government should review their survey of marine garbage to realize the huge contribution of waste bottles from Mainland China. And to strengthen the regional cooperation with the Guang Dong Province to prevent plastic waste from leaking into the ocean via the Pearl River
3. When 66% of the bottles were water, it is quite straight forward to tackle the waste problem by installing more water dispensers throughout the city. The Hong Kong SAR Government should provide free water dispensers and encourage citizens to BYOB. Beverage producers should consider changing their way of selling beverage products with an aim of reducing waste at source.