Students throw away lots of plastic bottles

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am


Students throw away an estimated 20 million plastic water bottles every year. That is equivalent to the area of 16 football fields.

Chinese YMCA surveyed 1,883 students from nine primary and 11 secondary schools last month. More than 50 per cent of those interviewed said they bought bottled water at least twice a week. About 40 per cent said they discarded empty bottles into rubbish bins instead of recycle bins.

Seventy per cent said they thought there were not enough water dispensers in the community.

The group urged the government to increase the number of water dispensers to encourage students to bring their own bottles.

Taiwan should serve as a model, said Lee Man-key, of the group's environmental protection team. Around 1,400 convenience stores and supermarkets there offer water refilling facilities.

The group has also set aside June 1 as a 'No Bottle Day'. Citizens can fill empty bottles at water dispensers for free at the Elements shopping mall and 18 of the group's outreach centres on the day. There will also be educational exhibitions at the Star Ferry piers in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Environmental Protection Department says plastic takes up 40 per cent of daily waste. Half of the plastic waste is recycled.