5 ways every Hongkonger can help reduce plastic waste volumes

Douglas Woodring of the Ocean Recovery Alliance offers some active steps we can take to alleviate the problem

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 May, 2016, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 May, 2016, 12:47pm

1. Avoid using single-use, disposable plastic items such as plastic plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, straws, bottles and bags. If you have to use them, try to reuse them.

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2. Try not to buy products with unnecessary packaging, e.g. bananas and other fruit that already have their own natural packaging (the skin). If you have no option, try to ask the vendor (or write to the store), and ask why they need to wrap things.

3. Put all of your plastic in a recycling bin, but make sure it is not mixed with food waste, which will contaminate the material that could get recycled. Plastic recycling works on economies of scale, so the more there is, the better.

4. Do not use plastic bags for one cup of drinks (e.g. at McDonald’s). This is unnecessary packaging and hardly ever gets recycled.

5. Try not to eat at restaurants that serve sit-down food with styrofoam or plastic containers. Even for takeaway, ask for alternatives to polystyrene foam. Foam takeaway boxes are also not good for your health if hot food is placed in them or they are microwaved.