The government should introduce a HK50-cent levy on disposable cutlery, a green group said after estimating that McDonald's alone dumps more than 11 million items a month during lunch hours. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen should announce in his October policy address a levy on disposable items such as cups, paper boxes and styrofoam bowls, Green Sense said. It said the 210 McDonald's outlets in Hong Kong had dumped more than 400 million such items in the past three years, based on estimates from a 2006 survey that the fast-food chain used more than 11 million disposable items every month during two-hour lunchtimes. 'The situation can only worsen this year as McDonald's opens more 24-hour outlets,' Green Sense project officer Sun Ho-yan said. 'They have also encouraged waste by introducing a delivery service.' Yesterday, at a McDonald's in Sham Shui Po, the group threw a 'birthday party' to illustrate how much waste McDonald's generates. More than 150 packaging items and disposable cutlery were used during the event attended by 10 guests, Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said. After the 2006 survey, which revealed that McDonald's and KFC were the chains that used the most disposable cutlery, Ms Sun said KFC had shown willingness to improve. It had replaced paper cups with washable plastic ones and stopped using some disposable cutlery, she said. McDonald's had failed to adopt any of the group's suggestions except introducing a 'no straw day'. But Ms Sun said that campaign was now voluntary, meaning that customers could still use as many straws as they liked. She urged it to come up with a five-year plan to cut its use of disposable items by 50 per cent. Green Sense said parents should stop celebrating their children's birthdays at McDonald's because it was instilling 'wrong values' in them by encouraging an unhealthy diet and promoting waste. 'McDonald's is not determined to embrace the environment,' Ms Sun said. 'They think monetary gain is more important than ... our environment.' But, she said, with the exception of McDonald's, fast-food chains had become more environmentally friendly over the past three years. A McDonald's spokeswoman said the chain had 'continuously come up with viable green campaigns' but still aimed to 'provide convenience to customers'. She said the volume of waste generated by McDonald's had decreased 80 per cent after it replaced styrofoam boxes with paper boxes. The chain also recycled waste oil. Meanwhile, more than 85 per cent of 842 people polled by green group Green Recycling said they had more than 10 non-woven shopping bags at home. The survey was conducted last month in Sha Tin, Tin Shui Wai and Tsuen Wan and on online forums. Forty-two per cent of respondents said the bags had broken easily.