Plasticity Forum throws up ways to deal with plastic waste

Violins formed from junkyard scrap, cost-efficient detergent bottles, technology to extract plastics from those we discard. These were among the creative ways of dealing with waste that went on show this week.

The Plasticity Forum brought together entrepreneurs, non-profit groups, the government and other parties.

"There's no way we're going to get away from plastics … But how can we use it so we don't have this plastic footprint we've created because we've not been watching?" said Doug Woodring, forum organiser and founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance.

With Hong Kong's landfills reaching capacity in the next decade, the city still dumps about 13,500 tonnes of material into waste sites each day.

The key, the forum participants say, is to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover the plastic that has already been thrown out.

They paraded success stories such as the London Olympics' zero-waste policy, with the company Nature Works recycling all the materials used into new products or compost. They showed how Taiwan re-uses much of the plastic it produces.

Some offered ways to reduce plastic use from the start. "We want to encourage people to drink tap water. Much of the tap water is cleaner than bottled water," said Merjin Everaarts, founder of Dopper, maker of a reusable water bottle.

Others pointed out the aversion people had for materials that had been through the trash. But Woodring said: "I think it's a psychological problem. There's nothing wrong with the plastic, it's been through a heating process while being recycled."


This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Forum throws up ways to deal with plastic waste