We love to eat right, but know it’s vastly important to live right too. That’s why we are inviting you to join us in committing to Zero Waste Week Hong Kong, a citywide challenge to send less to the landfill for the week of 7 to 14 June.
As foodies, it is important to consider how much waste is generated from the boundless meals we consume and create. Everything from the takeaway containers, plastic bottles and grocery bags are contributing to the problem.
According to a recent research paper, eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world's oceans each year. Eight million tonnes is like covering an area 34 times the size of Hong Kong Island to ankle depth. The quantity entering the ocean is equal to about five plastic grocery bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.
Leading the movement are Lisa Christensen and Nissa Marion, founders of Hong Kong Cleanup and Ecozine. “As a social movement, Zero Waste Week encourages all members of the Hong Kong community to take action by pledging to reduce the amount of waste they send to the landfill. We like to think of it as a boot camp for bins – where size zero is the aim,” says Christensen.
It might surprise you to know that Hong Kong generates 6 million tonnes of waste per year – that’s equivalent to 240,000 double decker buses, more than 50 times the number of buses in Hong Kong. The landfills in Hong Kong are almost full, meaning vast amounts of waste are left to nature. Not only are they a threat to the already vulnerable wildlife, but they threaten our own health and safety too.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Zero Waste Week challenges all of us to send less to the landfill and make a pledge to reduce waste. We don’t always have the luxury of time to cook a nice, sit-down meal after a long day of work, but this week, stay away from disposable plastic bags, bottles, cutlery or takeaway containers. Whether you’re just bringing in your own reusable tote to your weekly grocery shopping or choosing a sustainable, green café over chain restaurants, every little bit helps.
If you’re passionate about our city’s environment and want to do more, Zero Waste welcomes your participation at the series of public events that will take place within the community. Hong Kong will be playing host to the Global Zero Waste Summit on 11 June, where international speakers representing the Zero Waste movement from around the world will be in attendance. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite, and a full list of events throughout the week can be found below.
So, save the date: go green from 7 to 14 June and give our city the love it deserves. But don’t just stop when the end of the week comes around. Sustainable behavior shouldn’t be a one-off, but should be, well, sustained if we want to see a positive change in the amount of waste we produce - and in the environment we live in.