Be Eco-friendly as Fighting against Epidemic - Take-away Containers
Why it matters to you?
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.
What you should do?？
Avoid short-lived plastics
Meal box collection point
Remember to clean the food containers before recycling!
|Type 1||Plastic no. 1-7 (except plastic no.3 which is not welcomed by recycler)
|Type 2||Above plastic containers without a recycling label or number|
|Type 3||Polyfoam box/ bowl (Material: Expanded Polystyrene)
Fruit foam net (Material: Expanded Polyethylene)
|Type 4||Beverage TetraPak (Materials: Paper, Plastic film, Aluminum foil)
Milk box (Materials: Paper, Plastic film)
|Type 5||Laminated paper containers (Materials: Paper, Plastic film)
Kraft paper box
|Type 6||Aluminum Foil Containers
In view of the situation of the novel coronavirus infection, some of collection centers/units may be temporarily closed. We encourage you to contact them before you want to go.
Do you recommend Waste Separation Bins (3 colored bins) on the street?
The waste separation bins we can find on the street are managed by the government. Type 1 plastics we mentioned in the above table could be put into the brown bins. However, contaminated materials(e.g. unclean containers) are often found in the facilities. Therefore, it is recommended to go to the collection points in the table where better management are adopted.
Can I use Recycling Bins at my Housing Estates/ private properties?
Managing companies would have different ways of handling recyclable materials. Some recycle the waste properly, while some do not pay enough effort into recycling. Please contact your management office for further information. If they can’t tell clearly how they handle the recyclables, we recommend you to recycle at the collection points listed in the table temporarily. In the long term, please give the managing companies some suggestions and fulfill the spirit of the contract, urging them to manage the recycling bins and recyclables properly.
What are “Waste-no-mall”?
“Waste-no-mall” are recycling spots that are organized by individuals in communities proactively. They link people together to promote waste reduction at the community level. The recycling spot is initiated by individuals voluntarily, each of us could join to help. Most of the “Waste-no-mall” already have a regular location and a stable opening hour. However, some of them stopped running as we are combating the virus. For more detail of the “Waste-no-mall” in your community, please search it on your own.
Do Community Green Stations (CGSs) and CRCs collects polyfoams?
According to press releases made by the government on 16th June 2020: “The CGSs and the CRCs complement each other in developing a new recycling network to serve members of the public territory-wide. Both the CGSs and the CRCs (Community Recycling Centers) will collect eight types of recyclables, namely paper, metals, different types of plastics (including Styrofoam), glass containers, fluorescent lamps and tubes, rechargeable batteries, small electrical appliances and regulated waste electrical and electronic equipment.”
When TGE called to confirm, till 21 July, all stations replied that they have started collecting Styrofoam. (Note: Island Community Green Station is carrying out the repair project so it may affect the recycling service, please check with the center first)
1. The recycling system in Hong Kong is not sound nor completed, changes and adjustments are often made. We encourage you to contact the collection centers/units directly if you want more details and follow their guidelines.
2. I do not want to run around many collection points to recycle all my containers, which units could receive all kinds of disposable meal boxes mentioned above?
- Community Green Stations (Except laminated paper containers, all types of containers mentioned in the table could be received at Community Green Stations.)
3. There are only a few Styrofoam collection points, what should I do?
The delivery cost of Styrofoam is high. Please try to avoid using Styrofoam.
4. Last words: Recycling is only a remedial measure. A better measure is to avoid using disposable plastics!
Last updated: 21.7.2020