Mangkhut may not have been, as some people believe, the most intense typhoon to ever hit Hong Kong, but it did do what all T10s do: throw a lot of stuff around.
After the storm left us, in almost no time, the city’s ever-efficient clean-up teams were out in force, sweeping up and preparing the detritus for disposal. Top marks to them, and the many individuals who joined in the effort.
But I have a gripe. In our country parks and other rural areas, where there wasn’t so much man-made debris mingled with the natural, the crews swept leaves and twigs into large plastic sacks, which were left by the side of the road for, presumably, disposal in a landfill. Thousands and thousands of plastic sacks destined for our already overflowing landfills!
Mother Nature has been disposing of its own debris for millennia and is very good at breaking it down. The last thing she needs is acres of plastic preventing her from doing her thing. Surely there is a better way to clear away fallen flora, even if it’s just getting the sweepers to chuck the stuff over their shoulders into the forested areas by the side of the roads.
Given that there is now no doubting the link between human behaviour and the sort of climate change that will lead to a storm genuinely deserving of the title, “Hong Kong’s most intense” – then another, and another – the waste of so much plastic and petrol (for transport to the landfills) is nothing short of scandalous.