Hong Kong Government studies we show we produce significantly more waste than Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei and need a comprehensive waste management strategy. However, instead of improving per targets set in 2013 our waste management performance has worsened. Even though the scale of the recycling industry is low, local community and business efforts are beginning to emerge, enhancing the prospects for Hong Kong to become a use less, waste less society.
The final goal is for the circular economy to replace the current make-use-dispose model – We need to re-conceptualise waste as being a resource that can create new value, so that we are less dependent on new resources and inputs. To devise creative waste management solutions, the government needs to be more proactive in pushing forward policies and regulations, and create positive synergy between itself, the business sector, and local communities.
Part of our difficulty has been that Hong Kong does not have a ‘complete economy’ and so needs better co-operation with Mainland China if it is to recycle. For example, we import drinks in glass bottles from the Mainland rather than manufacture them in Hong Kong. Initiatives to send, clean glass from used bottles back to China so they can used to manufacture new have been thwarted by China’s restrictions on importing waste.
To champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, we have highlighted local organisations and showcased how their works have contributed to making Hong Kong a cleaner and greener city.See All Champions
Just as walking on sand leaves a footprint, burning fuel for human activity leaves greenhouse gases in the air, creating a carbon footprint. Everything we have, use, and consume, from food to clothes to transportation, is intimately linked to Hong Kong’s overall emissions figure.
According to WWF, if everyone on Earth led the same lifestyle as we do in Hong Kong, 4.2 Earths would be required to fulfil our resource need.