Waste not, spend less

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong's waste food problem is, to a certain extent, a cultural issue, a recent survey has found. Restaurant and hawker patrons are not asking for smaller portions because they feel they 'deserve' the food they have paid for.

According to the survey of roughly 800 customers of local hawker and fast-food centres by youth-run charity group, Greeners Action, only 16 per cent of people finish the meals they order.

Conducted last winter, the survey also found that almost half the respondents claimed they were served too much food. More than 60 per cent of the leftover food was rice and about 15 per cent was meat and vegetables.

All this leftover food ends up in local landfills, where it pollutes the soil, the surrounding waters, and releases methane gas.

Greeners Action is responding to the problem with Hong Kong's first citywide campaign: ask for less food and get HK$1 back.

The charity group will kickstart the 'HK$1 off' campaign this Sunday, with more than 50 restaurants offering the rebate on the first Wednesday of every month.

'We would like to encourage people to consider their appetites before ordering or preparing food,' said Greeners Action project officer Yip Chui-man. 'It won't solve the cultural problem of people's eating habits. But we hope it will raise awareness ... at least.'

Sunday's press conference is open to the public, and you can hear Greeners Action officers explain the campaign and announce the eateries that offer the rebate.

The press conference will be held at East Point City, Tseung Kwan O, at 2pm (near the Heng Hau MTR station). E-mail Ms Yip at cmyip@greeners-action.org for more details