Get Hong Kong students to embrace recycling culture from early age

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 12:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 5:50pm

I concur with the views of Yoyo Lai (“Policy of fewer bins is clearly not working”, November 27).

I agree with her that there should be more recycling bins throughout Hong Kong.

There is no better place to start recycling education than at school, as students can then learn about the advantages and benefits of recycling and how to go about doing it. As they grow up, it then becomes a habit. They can bring the good habit home, and educate their parents and other family members.

At the community level, the message can be conveyed through radio, print and public service announcements; posters can be put in shops. Social media can also be used, through smartphone apps and Facebook.

The Environmental Protection Department could consider publishing a recycling guide, with information on how, where and when to reuse and recycle items and dispose of rubbish. The guide could also include tips on how to become a smart consumer when shopping. The guide could advise people to – bring their own reusable bags to the store; buy products with the least amount of packaging or none at all; don’t buy disposable items; buy fewer paper towels and napkins; use cloth instead of paper nappies; buy long life and concentrated items; avoid styrofoam; and buy items packaged in or made from recyclable materials.

The handbook could also list locations where material can be deposited for recycling opportunities, such as housing estates.

Hopefully, once the message gets through, our citizens will start to act responsibly, and do much better when it comes to recycling. We need to try to counter the effects of poor and improper waste management in Hong Kong.

Of course, we cannot expect this mindset to be changed overnight, but citizens’ level of awareness can be raised through continuing education.

Eunice Li Dan Yue, Causeway Bay