In Hong Kong, one-fifth of our daily garbage is plastic waste. It is almost like living in a Plastic World.
While other cities have already explored ways to raise the value of used plastics, Hong Kong is still doing the low-value bale and export practice, and the fluctuated value of 2nd hand plastic materials has made it even harder to export our used plastics. As a result, a large portion of used plastics has ended up in our landfills, which is wasting resources and the limited space of our landfills.
Plastic brings us convenience to a certain degree, but it facilitates a modern disposable lifestyle. The six million waste plastic bottles that Hong Kong people throw away every single day is an obvious example. Not to mention the micro-plastic beads and BPA which may enter the food chain. All these threaten our public health and destruct our ecological environment.
Saying goodbye to plastic is never easy. However, for the sake of our mother earth, as well as the wellbeing of ourselves and that of our future generations, we should all learn to use plastic responsibly.
Marine plastic pollution has received much attention in recent years, and there has been a good deal of cleanup efforts at beaches and country parks that should be encouraged. However, we all know that if we do not stop the continuous production of plastic waste at the source, cleanups will simply be an end solution of cleaning up after those who are ultimately responsible.
A waste brands campaign has been brewing globally, whereby brands and categories of waste picked up at country parks and beaches are recorded then results announced. The aim is to push producers, especially those ranked the highest in the surveys or multinationals, to do more in waste reduction and recycling.
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PET bottles brand audit （2018-2019) - Chinese version only
When we are combating COVID-19, people keep ordering takeout and keep throwing away disposable tableware. The risk of coronavirus infection is lowered; however, the problem of disposable plastic is lifted to a new height.
According to the Environmental Protection Department, in 2018, 27 million pieces of plastic tableware were disposed by Hong Kong people every day. Before the pandemic, the data is already mind-boggling. How many disposable utensils would be disposed after we finish fighting the virus?
Using plastic tableware takes you a few minutes, while the decomposition cost it several hundred years. Most of the disposed plastic tableware enter the soil and oceans, and then fragmented as microplastics. The microplastics are now appearing in the oceans, freshwater, rainwater, animal bodies, and everywhere. It has become a new ecological disaster!
In the end, the one who will be suffering from the disaster brought by these ‘short-lived’ plastics would be us, and our younger generations.