31 December

飲品業龍頭企業與非政府組織攜手減廢 目標回收七至九成飲品包裝Leading drink companies together with NGOs target 70%-90% recovery of used beverage packaging

Group photo
飲品業龍頭企業與非政府組織攜手減廢 目標回收七至九成飲品包裝

• 去年,超過八成飲品包裝,即超過17億個容器遭棄掉浪費。
• 「免『廢』暢飲」行動支持推行廢包裝現金回贈計劃及及安裝飲水/品機。
• 促請香港特區政府規管包裝標準,並為回收工作提供支援。
• 飲料行業將採取自願措施減少垃圾。

2018年12月6日,香港:佔本港樽裝水和汽水近半銷售額的主要飲料生產商和裝瓶商,今天聯同主要連鎖零售商、回收業界及非政府組織,聯合宣佈其減少超過17億經使用及廢棄飲品容器的建議,以減低本地垃圾堆填區、郊野、海灘和海洋環境的壓力。去年,香港的PET樽回收率為9%,而紙包飲品盒的回收率更為0%。

一次性飲品包裝工作小組(下稱「小組」)在香港成立,旨在減少從非酒精飲品消耗所產生的廢物。該工作小組在去年十二月正式啟動免「廢」暢飲行動,推動本港達致七成至九成 PET容器及紙包飲品盒回收率為目標。小組深信,只要政府、生產商、零售商、回收商以至消費者能通力合作,上述回收率增長可在2025年或之前得以實現。

綠惜地球創辦人及總幹事、免「廢」暢飲行動發言人劉祉鋒先生表示:「我們所有人都有責任。每當我們把一次性飲料容器棄置在堆填區或大自然,環境都會遭受損害。」

劉先生續道:「我們的目標是減少使用一次性飲料包裝,而在無法避免的情況下,以財政誘因鼓勵回收包裝,從而提高回收率。香港還需要建立高效的PET樽和紙包飲品盒回收機制,以及透過法規確保包裝的質量,並加強公眾教育。」

減少飲料消耗所產生廢物的策略和行動
小組向生產商、進口商、零售商、廢物管理服務商、消費者和香港特區政府提出四項主要建議:減少一次性飲料容器、規管包裝標準、加強回收,以及循環再用經使用的飲品包裝。

無塑海洋總監Dana Winograd女士表示:「我們支持在香港創造一個讓消費者能在任何地方恆常地用自備的水樽和杯子添飲水、汽水和其他飲料的環境。」
香港鐵路有限公司持續發展事務主管鄭聲謙先生同意上述觀點:「我們已在東涌站和香港西九龍站安裝了飲水機,同時我們會繼續監察此計劃的使用情況和成效。」

香港機場管理局可持續發展助理總經理吳敏(Mike Kilburn)先生表示:「香港國際機場擁有本港其中一個最大的飲水機和熱水機網絡。截至2018年,香港機場管理局已在整個航站樓的13個地點安裝了104部飲水機和23部熱水機,深受乘客和我們的員工歡迎,是使用一次性塑料容器裝載飲料的免費替代品。有關飲水機和熱水機位置的資訊已載於『我的航班』應用程式和其他非政府組織平台。我們很樂意與其他有興趣安裝飲水機和熱水機的機構分享我們的經驗。」
小組嚮應政府呼籲推出現金回贈計劃,以提升PET樽回收率。小組建議將這類計劃擴展到其他包裝,包括紙包飲品盒。目前,本港經使用金屬罐的回收率為85%,反映以經濟誘因可有效提升回收率。小組建議向生產商和進口商徵費,從而補貼現金回贈計劃,並資助物流成本以及本地回收業。

據小組稱,把PET樽和紙包飲品盒的物料統一的法規有助將經使用的包裝加工成有價值的原料,如PET和紙張,並應用於新包裝和其他產品。

太古可口可樂香港董事兼總經理,以及香港飲品商會會長利偉達(Neil Waters)先生表示:「我們非常重視可持續發展。我們不斷重新設計包裝,包括大幅減少PET樽中的塑料重量,使產品包裝百分百可回收。我們將於2019年底前全面轉用百分百循環再造的PET生產所有Bonaqua礦物質水包裝。另外,我們亦將於全港推出300部Bonaqua加水站,支持「自備水樽」。我們將積極尋求再進一步的所有可能性。」 其他主要飲料生產商亦作出類似的承諾。屈臣氏實業飲品製造市務總經理于德超先生表示:「我們自2015年開始一直自發轉用100%再生PET物料作產品包裝,不僅減少生產、使用和浪費塑料,還有助於減低碳排放量。」
維他奶香港行政總裁兼香港飲品商會副主席劉盛雪女士說:「維他奶香港支持「免『廢』暢飲」活動。與公司「可持續增長」營運模式一致,我們正致力於膠樽及紙盒包裝的工作。對於膠樽,除了已實行及持續減輕重量,設置「飲品容器環保回收機」收集廢棄膠樽及蒸餾水環保補水站支持「自備水樽」行動,我們現致力於2019/20年度試行採用循環再造的PET膠樽。在紙盒方面,我們正與供應商及相關回收商聯繫,探討合作在香港進行紙盒包裝回收處理。」

劉祉鋒指出,2018年起生效的中國內地執行廢物進口禁令改變了香港和世界各地的回收做法。他表示:「嚴重依賴向中國內地和其他經濟體出口可回收材料不再是解決方法,香港必須建造先進的回收設施以處理本地產生的廢物。這有助香港發展循環經濟,並幫助我城實現可持續發展。」

特區政府於土地和物流上的支援,對控制回收成本和及早達致七成至九成包裝回收率的目標攸關重要。

關於免「廢」暢飲
免「廢」暢飲行動展示了業界人士和環保團體共同解決環境問題的可能性。自2017年12月,飲料生產商、裝瓶商、零售商、回收商及非政府機構組成一次性飲品包裝工作小組以來,該小組一直致力制訂策略和行動,減少本港從消耗飲料產生的廢物。

一次性飲料包裝工作小組主席司馬文(Paul Zimmerman)先生表示:「我們均知道一次性包裝無論在設計、使用,抑或在回收各方面都需要進行徹底改變。我們建議的策略和行動,對香港來說是務實而且共融的。為達致九成飲品包裝的減廢目標,所有持份者,包括業界、公眾和特區政府必須通力合作,盡量減低對消費者價格、選擇和便利程度的影響。」

該小組成員包括香港機場管理局、屈臣氏集團、牛奶有限公司,香港上海大酒店有限公司、香港鐵路有限公司、無塑海洋、太古飲料有限公司、維他奶國際集團有限公司、世界自然基金會香港分會及其他主要市場參與者。

小組委託德勤咨詢(香港)有限公司聯同Cistri Limited進行一項全面研究,以尋找和評估適用於本港的有效方案,管理一次性密封容器產生的飲品包裝垃圾。研究結果在本立場書的撰寫過程中提供了重要資訊。

小組的立場書詳細介紹了策略和行動,已載於:https://drinkwithoutwaste.org/drink-without-waste-resources/

請瀏覽免『廢』暢飲網站(www.drinkwithoutwaste.org)支持行動。

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(由左至右):德勤(香港)風險咨詢總監翁介中先生、綠惜地球創辦人及總幹事兼一次性飲品包裝工作小組發言人劉祉鋒先生、一次性飲品包裝工作小組主席司馬文先生及香港飲品商會主席利偉達先生。
(from left to right): Mr. Herbert Yung, Director, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Advisory (Hong Kong); Mr. Edwin Lau, Founder and Executive Director, The Green Earth, Hong Kong and Spokesperson for Drink Without Waste; Mr. Paul Zimmerman, Chairman of the Single-Use Beverage Packing Working Group; and Mr. Neil Waters, President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association.

Leading drink companies together with NGOs target 70%-90% recovery of used beverage packaging
• Over 80% of beverage packaging, or over 1.7 billion containers, were wasted last year.
• The Drink Without Waste initiative supports cash-on-return of used packaging and the installation of refill dispensers.
• The HKSAR government is urged to regulate packaging standards and provide support for recycling.
• The beverage industry will take voluntary measures to reduce waste.

Hong Kong, 6 December 2018: Hong Kong’s leading beverage producers and bottlers, representing nearly half of all the bottled water and soft drinks sold in the city, together with major retailers, recyclers and NGOs, today announce their proposals to reduce the over 1.7 billion used and discarded beverage containers that end up in Hong Kong’s landfills, countryside, beaches and the marine environment. Last year, recovery rates in Hong Kong were at 9% for PET and 0% for liquid cartons.

The Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group was formed to help reduce the waste generated from non-alcoholic beverage consumption in Hong Kong. They launched the Drink Without Waste initiative in December last year and now pledge to work towards 70%-90% recovery rates for PET containers and liquid cartons in Hong Kong. They believe that with all parties – government, producers, retailers, recyclers and consumers – working closely together, this increase could be achieved by 2025.

“We all are responsible. We harm the environment when we dispose of single-use beverage containers at our landfills and in the natural environment,” said Edwin Lau Che-feng, Founder and Executive Director of The Green Earth, Hong Kong and spokesperson for Drink Without Waste.

“Our aim is to reduce single-use beverage packaging and, where this is not possible, to increase the recycling rate of packaging with financial incentives. This is to encourage return and collection. Hong Kong also needs to develop efficient recycling for PET bottles and liquid cartons, ensure the quality of used packaging through legislation, and increase public education.”

Strategies and actions to reduce waste from beverage consumption
The group is making four major recommendations to producers, importers, retailers, waste management services, consumers and the HKSAR government: to reduce single-use beverage containers, to regulate packaging standards, to recover used packaging, and to recycle them.

“We support creating an environment in Hong Kong, where consumers routinely refill their own bottles and cups from dispensers for water, soft drinks and other beverages throughout the city,” said Dana Winograd, Director of Plastic Free Seas.

Simeon Cheng, Head of Sustainability at MTR Corporation Limited echoed this view: “We have installed water dispensers in Tung Chung Station and Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, and we are continuing to monitor the usage and effectiveness of our programme.”

Mike Kilburn, Assistant General Manager, Sustainability at the Airport Authority Hong Kong, said: “HKIA has one of the largest networks of drinking fountains and hot water dispensers in Hong Kong. As of 2018, Airport Authority Hong Kong has installed 104 drinking fountains and 23 hot water dispensers in 13 locations throughout the terminal buildings. These fountains and hot water dispensers provide a welcome amenity and a free alternative to drinks served in single use plastic beverage containers to the passengers and staff travelling through and working at HKIA. Information about the locations of our drinking fountains and hot water dispensers is available through the “HKG MyFlight” app and other NGO platforms. We would be delighted to share our experience with others who may be interested to deploy drinking fountains and hot water dispensers of their own.”

The group supports the HKSAR government call for cash-on-return schemes to increase recovery rates of plastic bottles. The group proposes that these schemes are extended to other packaging, including liquid cartons. Currently the recovery rates for used metal cans in Hong Kong is 85%, demonstrating the effectiveness of a monetary value. The group proposes that a levy should be collected from producers and importers to cover the cost of cash-on-return schemes and to help subsidise logistics and local recycling.

According to the group, regulations to homogenise all plastic bottles and liquid cartons allows used packaging to be processed into valuable feedstock such as PET and paper for new packaging and other products.

“We take sustainability seriously,” said Neil Waters, Director and General Manager of Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong and President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association. “We continuously reengineer our packaging, including significantly cutting the amount of plastic in our bottles and making our packaging 100% recyclable. Through 2019 we will complete the conversion of all our ‘Bonaqua’ Mineralized Water packaging to 100% rPET. In addition, we will launch 300 Bonaqua water stations across Hong Kong to promote the Bring Your Own Bottle initiative. We will continue to search out all possible opportunities to do more.”

Other major drink producers are also making similar commitments. “We have voluntarily taken steps to transform our packaging to 100% recycled PET material since 2015,” said Edmond Yu, General Manager – Marketing of A.S. Watson Industries. “This not only reduces the production, use and wastage of plastic, but also helps with cutting carbon emissions.” “Vitasoy Hong Kong supports the Drink Without Waste initiative. Consistently with our Company’s sustainable growth model, we are working on both plastic and carton packaging. For plastics, beyond having implemented and continuing weight reduction, installing Reverse Vending Machines to collect used bottles and Water Refilling machines to support the Bring Your Own Bottle initiative, we are working on enabling recycled PET pilots in our 2019/20 fiscal year. For carton, we are engaging our suppliers and relevant recyclers to collaborate on carton pack collection and recycling in Hong Kong,” said Dorcas Lau, CEO of Vitasoy Hong Kong and Vice President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association.

According to Edwin Lau, the waste import restrictions launched by mainland China since 2018 have changed the recycling practices in Hong Kong and around the world. “Relying heavily on exporting recyclable materials to the mainland and other economies is no longer a solution,” he said. “Hong Kong has to build state-of-the-art recycling facilities to take care of our own waste. This in turn will help develop a circular economy and help our city become sustainable.”

Land and logistic support from the HKSAR government are considered essential to controlling the cost of recycling and to achieving the goal of between 70% and 90% recovery of packaging early.

About Drink Without Waste
The Drink Without Waste initiative demonstrates how industry players and environmental groups can work together to tackle environmental issues. Since December 2017, the Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group, a broad coalition of drink producers, bottlers, retailers, recyclers and NGOs, has been working to develop strategies and actions to reduce waste from the consumption of beverages in Hong Kong.

“We all know there needs to be wholesale change in the ways we design, use and recycle single-use packaging,” said Paul Zimmerman, Chairman of the Single-Use Beverage Packing Working Group. “The strategies and actions we recommend are meant to be pragmatic and inclusive for Hong Kong. To stop 90% of beverage packaging from going to waste, all stakeholders including the industry, general public and the HKSAR government, will need to work together closely to limit impacts on consumer price, choice and convenience.”

Members of the group include Airport Authority of Hong Kong, A.S. Watson Group, Dairy Farm Company Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited, MTR Corporation Limited, Plastic Free Seas Limited, Swire Beverages Limited, Vitasoy International Holdings Limited, WWF-Hong Kong and other key players.

The group commissioned Deloitte Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited, together with Cistri Limited, to carry out a comprehensive study to identify and evaluate how to effectively manage waste from single-use sealed beverage containers in Hong Kong. The findings informed the development of a positioning paper published by the group.

小組的立場書詳細介紹了策略和行動,已載於:
https://drinkwithoutwaste.org/drink-without-waste-resources/

請瀏覽免『廢』暢飲網站(www.drinkwithoutwaste.org)支持行動。

29 June

有害醫療廢料再現香港 市民健康繼續受嚴重威脅 Dangerous and harmful medical waste found on HK’s beaches continues to put people at risk

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有害醫療廢料再現香港 市民健康繼續受嚴重威脅

有害的醫療廢料繼續污染香港的水質和海灘,並對香港市民的健康安全造成巨大威脅。

今天創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生,居民Moran Zukerman,無塑海洋行政總裁Tracey Read及梁嘉麗小姐於政府總部外再次展示在大嶼山海灘收集的大量醫療及化學廢料,並呈交環境保護署進行調查。

這是第三次,亦是三次內最多醫療廢料數量供環境保護署進行調查。在信中,他們強烈要求環境保護署正視問題,並盡快作出相關調查及採取行動。在去年七月十二日及十二月六日,志願者已先後拾獲並向政府轉交大批醫療及化學廢料,可惜環境保護署仍未就我們提交的廢料樣本發表任何調查結果。

有關漂浮在香港的沙灘上針筒和連針針筒事宜,我們已於2008年開始向環境保護署表示關注。居民Moran Zukerman亦於去年開始在大嶼山小型的海灘收集具危險性的醫療廢料。在這十二個月內是第三次收集,當中包括529枝針筒,402枝沒有連針,127枝連針。另外,還發現藥筒,藥瓶和藥袋,有些物品甚至有被魚咬過的痕跡。居民Moran表示:「政府有聘請承包商清理海灘,但我卻發現越來越多的醫療廢料。我並不是要清理海灘,而是希望調查其來源並訂立預防措施,防止醫療廢料在我們的海洋漂浮。」

無塑海洋行政總裁Tracey Read表示:「有些藥物好像是來自中國內地,其他明顯是來自香港。香港特區政府需要與廣東進行跨部門合作,調查醫療廢料的來源和其性質,並建立處理於中國內地和香港非法棄置的危險醫療的廢料,阻止廢料流入環境是極為重要的。」

要制止不當棄置本地藥物及使用過的針筒,政府需制定和促進一個回收藥物的計劃及建立便利的棄置使用過針筒設施。政府可與公營及私營的醫療機構合作,提供回收箱分類收集使用過的針筒和不需要的藥物。

P6292604
7個月內所收集的醫療廢料
Collected medical waste within 7 months

P6292702
向環境保護署代表遞交請願信
Letter submission to Environmental Protection Department (EPD)

如需要詳盡資訊,可參考:
2016年7月12日的新聞稿:https://goo.gl/42p5DX
2016年12月6日的新聞稿:https://goo.gl/3kGZSB

Dangerous and harmful medical waste found on HK’s beaches continues to put people at risk

Hazardous medical waste continues to pollute Hong Kong’s water and beaches. The waste poses a huge risk to the health and safety of tourists and Hong Kong people.

Today, Designing Hong Kong’s CEO Paul Zimmerman, Moran Zukerman, a local resident, and Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read and Julia Leung again submitted a large amount of medical and chemical waste retrieved from a Lantau beach to the Environmental Protection Department.

It is the third and largest delivery of medical waste to the EPD for investigation. In a letter they seriously urged EPD to take follow-up action. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has yet to publish the investigation outcomes after large amounts of medical and chemical waste were collected and delivered to the government on 12th July 2016 and 6th December 2016 respectively.

Reports of syringes and needles washing up on beaches all over Hong Kong have been lodged since 2008. To show the scale of the issue Mr Zukerman has concentrated his efforts on collecting dangerous medical waste from one small Lantau beach since last year. This third delivery in 12 months includes 529 syringes, 402 without needles and 127 syringes with needles. Also included are drug vials, medicine bottles and medicine packets. Some of the items have evidence of bite marks by fish. “Government has hired more contractors for beach cleaning, but I keep finding more medical waste,” Zukerman said. “I don’t want beach cleaning. I want full forensic investigation into potential source points, and preventative strategies to stop medical waste floating in our seas.”

“Some of the medicine looks to be originating from China, others are obviously from Hong Kong,” Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read said. “The HKSAR government needs to have an inter-departmental collaboration with Guangdong counterparts to investigate the sources and nature of the waste and establish an action plan to deal with the illegal disposal of hazardous medical and veterinary waste in China and Hong Kong. Preventing the waste from leaking into the environment is of the utmost importance.”

One solution to stop improper disposal of local medicines and used syringes is to facilitate a Hong Kong “take-back” program for unwanted medicines and accessible disposal facilities for used syringes. Government can work with public and private health facilities to provide sharps bins (for used syringes) and containers for unwanted medicines.

More information
Press release on 12thJuly 2016: https://goo.gl/42p5DX
Press release on 6th December 2016: https://goo.gl/3kGZSB

 

6 December

New dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches puts residents at risk 新危險醫料廢料襲港,對市民構成嚴重威脅

具危險性的醫療廢物持續污染香港的水質和海灘,對市民的健康及安全構成威脅。

在今年的7月12日,大批由志願者拾獲的醫療廢物已交給環境保護署進行調查,可惜至今仍未收到環境保護署對事件的回覆或發表任何調查結果。

創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生,居民Moran Zukerman及無塑海洋行政總裁Tracey Read今天於政府總部外展示大批於大嶼山海灘拾獲的醫療廢物,並再次交給環境保護署化驗及作進一步的調查。此外,他們更向環境保護署遞交信件,表達對事件的極度關注及促請有關部門盡快展開調查及跟進工作。

是次具危險性的醫療廢料在今年7月至11月於大嶼山海灘拾獲,包括303枝針筒、96枝針筒連針、超過200個玻璃小藥瓶、一枝裝滿疑似血液的試管和大量膠製藥瓶及藥袋等。部份物品更有被魚咬過的痕跡。

由於事態日趨嚴重,我們促請政府盡快成立誇部門小組調查醫療廢物的性質及來源,並設立資料儲存庫和制定行動計劃處理以上違法棄置及具危險性的醫療廢料。

如需要詳盡資訊,可參考2016年7月12日的新聞稿:https://goo.gl/42p5DX

Hazardous medical waste continues to pollute Hong Kong’s water and beaches. The waste threatens the health and safety of local residents.

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has yet to respond and publish the investigation outcomes after large amounts of medical waste were collected and delivered to government on 12 July 2016.

Today, Designing Hong Kong’s CEO Paul Zimmerman, Moran Zukerman, a local resident, and Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read submitted again a large amount of medical waste retrieved from a Lantau beach to the EPD outside the Central Government Office. In a letter they urged EPD to take follow up action.

The newly found dangerous medical waste collected at one Lantau beach from July – November 2016, includes 303 syringes without needles, 96 syringes with needles, more than 200 drug vials, a collection tube suspected of containing human blood, plastic medicine bottles and packets. Some of the items have evidence of bite marks by fish.

What is now needed is an in-depth inter-departmental investigation into the source and nature of the waste and to establish a database and action plan which deals with the illegal disposal of hazardous medical waste.

The government is urged to act with expediency in response to the medical waste found.
More information
Press release on 12 July 2016: https://goo.gl/42p5DX

20 July

大量危險醫療廢料襲港,團體促請政府徹查廢料來源 Dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches

  

大量危險醫療廢料襲港,團體促請政府徹查廢料來源

香港水域時常受大量垃圾污染,此情況在雨季尤其嚴重。上月連場暴雨,大量垃圾沖上沙灘及沿岸地區,造成海洋生態災難。司馬文表示,我們現在需要的,不是行政長官及官員到海邊執垃圾「做show」,而是要更深入認真徹查垃圾的種類及來源,防止廢料繼續污染海港。

創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生、無塑海洋教育項目經理梁嘉麗小姐及居民Moran Zukerman今天展示大批於大嶼山三白灣 (愉景北商場旁) 拾獲的醫療廢料,這些廢料由本年5月起開始收集,經分類及調查後,有明顯證據顯示廢料來自中國廣東省。

這次拾獲的醫療及化學廢料 (抗生素及預防藥物)主要是供人類及牲畜使用,具危險性及可能帶毒性。司馬文把廢料分類及調查後,找到大量藥樽、針筒、膠及玻璃樽、透析包/靜脈注射包、藥丸及完好無損的安瓿。從部份廢料上的牌子及印有的簡體字,明顯證明廢料來自中國廣東省。他更在廢料中找到中國政府交通部官員的工作證件。

大雨或洪水把露天棄置的垃圾沖進河流及海洋是香港及內地存在已久的問題。醫療廢料亦會對市民的健康及安全構成威脅,泳客有機會因踩到針筒而受傷,或造成感染。居港15年的Moran Zukerman表示「醫療廢料問題不只是垃圾問題。一方面,它對海洋及四周環境造成破瓌。另一方面,從部份廢料出現魚類的咬痕可見,人類進食的魚類產品亦可能因此而受到污染,故最終受害的仍然是市民。

梁嘉麗表示,自2013年起,無塑海洋及Green DB一直有向海事處及環境保護署投訴海灘出現醫療廢料的問題,傳媒亦有相關報導。然而,環境保護署的調查一直沒有回音,亦未有針對中港兩地產生廢料的組織的相關行動,彷彿當局不打算處理相關問題。

我們促請政府正視問題,作出相關調查及行動。相關廢料亦會送往環境保護署作進一步化驗及跟進。

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Dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches 

Large amounts of marine waste washes up at Hong Kong’s beaches regularly, especially during rainy season. Heavy rain fails over the last month has triggered large amounts of waste washing into the seas.

“What is now needed is an in-depth investigation into the type and source of the waste rather than black bag beach cleaning actions,” said Paul Zimmerman.

Paul Zimmerman, CEO of Designing Hong Kong, together with Julia Leung, Program Manager – Education of Plastic Free Seas and Moran Zukerman, a local resident, presented dangerous medical waste found among rubbish collected from a Lantau beach, Sam Pak Wan, since May this year. Many items had definitive markings pointing at locations in the Guangdong Province.

Medical waste collected were for human and veterinarian use (antibiotics and preventative medicine), and many are hazardous and potentially poisonous.

Paul Zimmerman explained: “We sorted and investigated the waste, most of them are vials, syringes, plastic/glass bottles, dialysis bags, medical pills, fully intact glass ampoules. From the brands and simplified Chinese text, it is obviously come from locations in the Guangdong Province. We even found a working pass from a Chinese government transport officer among the waste.”

Open waste dumps are a long standing problem in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. Exposed waste is subject to flooding and washing out to rivers and seas. Hazardous medical waste poses a health risk as beachgoers could injure and infect themselves by stepping on needles. Moran Zukerman, a local resident who has been living in Hong Kong for over 15 years, expressed his concern: “Medical waste is beyond littering, it’s not only harmful to the environment and oceans, but also causes a threat to human beings who consume the fish and many of the medical products shows signs of fish bites who are exposed to those dangerous items, and are eventually consumed by humans.”

Julia Leung explained: “Plastic Free Seas and Green DB have since 2013 reported the medical waste found on beaches to the Marine Department and the Environmental Protection Department. There were also media reports at that time. It is entirely unclear what investigation has been conducted by the EPD into the sources, and what action have been taken to contact the authorities and medical institutions both in Hong Kong and the Mainland.”

“We urge the government to seriously investigate the medical waste we found. The items will be sent to the Environmental Protection Department for investigation and follow up action.”

 

 

 

20 July

Fix it: Stop waste before it floats

Waste retrieved from Aberdeen Harbour by the Save Aberdeen Harbour Alliance on 25 June 2016

Fix it: Stop waste before it floats

Report of open waste dump at Wei Ling Ding island: http://goo.gl/WKOzQy (Chinese only)

Facebook video of illegal waste dumps in Hong Kong: https://goo.gl/77r5AL

 

Let’s not blame the rain

For as long as the government has tracked data on marine refuse, it shows that during the rainy season, the weight of marine refuse collected from the seas and shores increases.

The latest increase in floating rubbish washing onto Hong Kong shores has been linked by the government with the recent extreme rain events throughout the region.

The relationship is plausible. Rainwater washes floating debris left on the land into drains, culverts, streams and rivers, and on to the open seas.

Extreme rain also causes flooding which dislodges debris and again this will flow to the sea. So what to do next? First of all, let’s not blame the rain and climate change.

The Pearl River Delta has (for a very long period) had a subtropical climate with rainy seasons. Repeated sudden deluges of large amounts of water have been a fact of life for many centuries. Climate change is predicted to result in fewer rain days but an increase in the average rainfall intensity.

 

Consumerism is a problem – but not the cause of marine waste

Others blame consumerism and our lifestyle, especially the shift to packaged food distribution, and one-off serving containers for meals and drinks.

While correctly pointing out that behaviour changes can significantly reduce the volumes of waste produced in this region with rapid urbanisation, rise in income and the feeding of millions of workers, it does not address the cause of floating marine refuse.

 

Waterproof all waste handling

Floating marine refuse can only be addressed by fixing the structural problem of poorly contained rubbish lying on land.

The coastal dump site at the island of Wei Ling Ding is not the only one along the coast and rivers of the mainland and Hong Kong.

Look no further than the villages and brownfields of the New Territories, or look around Hong Kong Island, and discover how much rubbish lies open and exposed to rain at the government’s refuse collection points.

Add to that the illegal dumping, including hazardous medical waste, by unscrupulous collectors of waste.

By all means, the government should model sea currents to try and pinpoint the source of the recent upsurge in floating waste, but we should not waste time.

With years of evidence of increases in marine refuse during the rainy seasons we can safely agree on the general narrative: we need to waterproof our waste handling from consumers to waste processors, both in Hong Kong and China. And with climate scientists predicting more extreme rainfall, we need to do this sooner rather than later.

(Article was first published in the South China Morning Post, 16 July 2016)

16 December

Support Creating Space for Waste 支持建立廢物回收空間

Support smart waste management today
You are invited to submit your comments on a new proposal to build integrated waste handling facilities at our landfills, and to rezone the incinerator site as a marine park.

No time, No space
Within hours after cleaning up dinner or breakfast our waste is dumped in landfills. Helpers, security guards, elderly, cleaners and haulers have little time to strip paper, aluminum cans and other items of value. If we want to improve our recycling rate, we will need more time and more space to sort. But as flats are too small and urban areas densely built up, there is no space left to fully separate waste.

Sharing the waste burden
www.wastehk.org proposes to divide Hong Kong into four catchment areas each with an integrated waste facility for collection, separation, sorting, and stock piling of recyclables. To find the land, www.wastehk.org proposes that two existing landfills, an industrial waterfront site east of Tseung Kwan O and a new site at north-east Lantau are zoned for integrated facilities with sea access. All sites are suitable for high capacity mechanical waste sorting before it is dumped in the landfill.

Eliminate the need for a super incinerator
People can pre-sort their wet and dirty (food, diapers) from clean and dry (packaging materials) waste to make it easy to retrieve recyclables. Together with the large sorting facilities we can improve our recycling rate and eliminate the need for a super incinerator.

Your support today
Support this proposal for smart integrated waste management on or before 20 December 2013. See www.wastehk.org for more information.

(more…)

20 March

“Pick It Up” Campaign ** 「拾荒救地球」運動

Our “Pick It Up” campaign promotes a positive attitude towards picking up litter. We hope that everyone in Hong Kong can work together to make “Pick It Up” a habit. Keeping Hong Kong tidy and clean, no longer about ‘not littering’, but about ‘picking up’ after oneself! If you are interested to collaborate with or have any idea, please contact us via email debby@designinghongkong.com or call Ms Debby Chan 31043107 for following up!

「拾荒救地球」運動希望令市民能正面的思考垃圾問題,當我們見到垃圾時不要只是抱怨或投訴,而是把它撿起來回收或丟到垃圾桶。七十年代我們有垃圾蟲叫人「不要亂拋垃圾」,今天我們身體力行的呼籲人執垃圾。「拾荒救地球」是商店、品牌公司甚至每個人都可以參與的運動。如果你有興趣跟參與我們的活動或有任何想法,請發電郵到 debby@designinghongkong.com  或 致電 3104 3107 與Debby Chan 聯絡!

6 March

VITA WATER wins the most popular “Brand on the Beach” award
維他純蒸餾水奪得「沙灘上的品牌」冠軍

Press Release – 6 th March 2013

Living Lamma volunteers collected and sorted waste found in Pak Kok beach on Lamma Island by brand label. After 3 clean ups, 1112 plastic bottles with 761 different identifiable brand labels were found.

VITA WATER is the brand which has the most bottles (23% of all identifiable bottles) littering the beach surveyed. In second place is BONAQUA with 13% of bottles found. In third place was COOL Water with 11% of identifiable bottles found. A full report is attached.

Jo Wilson, campaigner at Living Lamma explained, “I was not surprised. People always think garbage on the beach comes drifting down the Pearl River Delta. We chose to monitor this beach as the rubbish we found there in the past largely contained local brands. Our findings show that beach litter is our own problem. Many people don’t realize that litter on the streets and slopes will end up in our seas, and back onto our beaches.”

Paul Zimmerman, CEO, Designing Hong Kong added, “We hope that brand names like VITA will take action and use their labeling to remind consumers to dispose bottles properly. At the same time, the Hong Kong community should consider adding a recycling charge onto plastic bottles and not just glass bottles, to promote recovery and return for recycling use.”

Living Lamma and Designing Hong Kong see the “Brand on the Beach” award event as part of a growing “Pick It Up” attitude in Hong Kong. People are responding to a positive attitude which promotes: “Don’t just look at the trash or complain about it, pick it up.” Last summer, members of the public helped clear up plastic pellets after the Vicente Typhoon. The AFCD has removed waste bins from Country Parks and asks people to carry their waste out of the parks. An increasing number of people are getting involved in coastal clean-up campaigns.

“Next, we hope fast food chains will ask patrons to return their food tray to a cleaning station before leaving. Maybe they can consider discount coupons in return. It is no longer about ‘not littering’, but about ‘picking up’ garbage. A campaign everyone including retailers and brand companies can help with.” Paul Zimmerman concluded.

The next clean up on Lamma will be on Sunday April 14th, anyone who is interested please send email to Jo at livinglamma@yahoo.com

Enclosed:
1) ‘Brand on the Beach’ Report
2) ‘Brand on the Beach’ Photo Gallery

   

新聞稿 – 2013年3月6日

自十二月起,活在南丫的義工們每個月到一次南丫島的北角村沙灘收拾垃圾,將垃圾按品牌分類。三次清潔行動共收集得1112個膠樽,當中761可辨認出其品牌。

在可辨認出其品牌的沙灘垃圾膠樽之中,維他純蒸餾水共佔百分之廿三,贏得冠軍。亞軍由佔百分之十三的飛雪礦物質水所奪; Cool 礦泉水以輕微之差(百分之十一)得季軍。詳情可參閱完整報告。

活在南丫的參與者Jo Wilson說:「我們總以為沙灘垃圾是從珠江三角洲漂流過來,而不知道我們是沙灘垃圾的始作俑者。我們驚見南丫島的北角村充滿本地品牌的垃圾,原來我們在街上亂丟或棄置在斜坡上垃圾,最後都會落到大海然後回到我們的沙灘上。這個沙灘對著香港島,不時有本地品牌垃圾漂上岸所以我們決定在清潔這個沙灘。」

創建香港的行政總裁司馬文補充:「我們希望品種公司如維他能夠利用他們的力量呼籲消費者不要亂丟垃圾,幫忙回收。同時間,我們除了考慮開徵玻璃樽回收稅外,更應該考慮膠樽回收稅以增加膠樽回收的數量,善用資源。」

活在南丫及創建香港指「沙灘上的品牌」是「拾荒救地球」運動的其中一個活動,希望令市民能正面的思考垃圾問題,「當我們見到垃圾時不要只是抱怨或投訴,而應該把它撿起來回收或丟到垃圾桶。」上年夏天韋森特襲港後,市民積極到各沙灘執拾膠珠。當漁農處移除各郊野公園的垃圾桶,要市民自備垃圾袋時,我們需要更多市民參與清潔海岸運動。

司馬文總結「下一步,我們希望連鎖快餐店能呼籲客人自覺的把餐盤處理好才離開。快餐店用優惠卷就能輕易的吸引顧客去做。我們不再叫人『不要亂拋垃圾』而是『拾起來』。『拾荒救地球』是商店、品牌公司甚至每個人都可以參與的運動」

下一次「沙灘上的品牌」清潔沙灘行動會於4月14日舉行,有興趣參加的朋友可以通過電郵livinglamma@yahoo.com向Jo報名。

附件:
1)「沙灘上的品牌」報告
2) 「沙灘上的品牌」攝影集