Student teams want to see green dreams come true
Shoes made from recycled tyres, electricity-generating tiles and rice husk furniture were among the six innovative business ideas that won this year's CMA Young Post Green Manufacturing Competition.
The event - co-organised by the Young Post and the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong - promotes green manufacturing processes that will reduce pollution and waste. The six winning teams will go on an eco-field trip to Taiwan to see a green waste treatment plant.
Teams came from City University, the Chinese University, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Science and Technology and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education.
Brenda Fung Chui-han, senior specialist from the Business Environment Council, said it was important for the manufacturing industry - which generates huge amounts of pollution in the form of waste products - to go green.
'As the world's energy resources continue to be depleted and problems surrounding climate change become more pressing, we must improve industrial practices,' she said.
Chinese Manufacturing Association executive committee member Vitus Szeto Kin thought the competition encouraged students to examine ways to both solve the industry's problems and see what challenges lay ahead.
Judges Fung and Szeto agreed that team Green World from Chinese University had the best business idea. The four students proposed turning shoe boxes into shoe storage units, bookshelves or greeting cards.
'It is great that they suggested making those sturdy paper boxes into multi-purpose storage units, thus giving consumers a good reason to keep them,' Szeto said.
Fung said the plan was practical, relevant, and easy for everyone to implement.
Another clever idea came from team GM from the same university. They suggested generating energy for shopping malls and the MTR using power produced from pressure-detecting floor tiles.
'If there were a large and stable flow of shoppers or commuters, the tiles could decrease reliance on coal-generated electricity and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions,' Fung said.
On a less positive note, the judges thought many of the ideas put forward were borrowed from existing products and they hoped to see more originality and creativity in the next competition.