Beverage sector, NGOs unite to cut waste deluge - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Beverage sector, NGOs unite to cut waste deluge

2017-12-18 HKT 18:07
Share this story facebook
  • The groups want to change the fact that most drinks packaging ends up in the city's landfills. Photo: RTHK
    The groups want to change the fact that most drinks packaging ends up in the city's landfills. Photo: RTHK
Richard Pyne reports
Twenty-seven groups, including NGOs and key players from the beverage, retail and waste industries, are joining hands to come up with ways to reduce the amount of waste created by throw-away packaging.

The Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group said urgent action is needed as Hong Kong produces nearly 550 tonnes of waste – comprising drinks cartons, aluminium cans and plastic and glass bottles – every day.

They said the tightening of the mainland's waste import policy has made it even more apparent that more needs to be done to reduce waste and ensure what the city throws away can meet the stricter requirements.

Their initiative, called "Drink Without Waste", has commissioned a research study from Deloitte Advisory, and this is expected to take six months. A report is expected by mid-2018.

The government is taking separate steps to address the problem. It's currently looking at a producer responsibility scheme for plastic bottles, to follow a similar scheme for glass bottles.

The working group's chairman, Paul Zimmerman from Designing Hong Kong, says their research will dovetail government efforts: "This research looks at it from the beverage consumption and production point of views: how are they produced, how are they packaged, what are the different types of packaging?"

Zimmerman said the research will then look at how waste is being handled in Hong Kong, and what opportunities there are. This will allow them to come up with practical solutions, he explained.

The president of the Hong Kong Beverage Association, Allen Li, said they're not happy with the current situation – which sees the majority of drinks packaging ending up in the city's landfills.

"We would like to see some better alternatives, that's for sure," he said.