15th Annual Hong Kong Cleanup Challenges 5% of the Hong Kong Population to Take Part in this Year’s Initiative
Fifteen years ago, Hong Kong Cleanup initiated what would become the world’s largest volunteer effort: a nine-week challenge to make Hong Kong a cleaner, greener place through a collective effort to pick up millions of kilograms of trash every autumn. In celebration of this year’s milestone anniversary event, co-founders Lisa Christensen and Nissa Marion are encouraging every Hong Konger to sign up a team to cleanup a beach, country trail or urban park of their choice, starting on Saturday, 19 September.
According to leading global social scientists, by mobilising 5% of Hong Kong’s population in actively reducing the amount of trash they generate and taking a role in cleaning up the city, we would create a paradigm shift and form a social movement with long-lasting behavioral change, getting us closer to a cleaner, greener city. This is why the team at Hong Kong Cleanup is focusing its efforts on increasing local engagement as much as possible.
“We are currently generating over six million tonnes of trash per year, which is equivalent to over 16,000 tonnesevery day,” says Lisa Christensen. “Over the last 15 years, Hong Kong Cleanup has seen engagement grow significantly and this year we aim to engage 5% of Hong Kong’s population, 360,000 participants, during the nine-week initiative.”
“Littering is a major epidemic in Hong Kong, and the only way we can turn our trash problem around is through awareness and education,” said Nissa Marion. “It’s not just the overflowing landfills that are becoming a problem; the issue has now flooded into our oceans. We are contributing to the deterioration of one of our biggest natural resources by discarding everyday items such as plastic bottles and plastic bags, cigarettes and food wrappers, which are some the most commonly found trash items in the sea.”
Organised by Ecozine and charity partner, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The Hong Kong Cleanup is an important initiative for action, awareness and empowerment. During the 2014 Hong Kong Cleanup alone, over 51,000 volunteers collected 3,894,000kg of trash over 1,847km of shorelines, country park trails and city streets.
To help prompt social change and proactive environmental behaviour, Ogilvy & Mather have partnered with Hong Kong Cleanup to create an impactive city-wide campaign. “We wanted to remind people in Hong Kong that we’re all in this together – and that collectively, individual actions can make a difference. We need a powerful visual analogy to convey our message, and for this, we will take a leaf out of nature’s book. Individually, ants are amazing creatures, but when thousands of them work together as one, it’s truly astounding what they can achieve,” said Greg Carton, Head of Marketing & Communications, Ogilvy & Mather, Asia Pacific.
Hong Kongers are encouraged to sign up for the 2015 Cleanup Challenge through a variety of individual or team-based activities, including:
The City Cleanup Challenge, easily done at the office, at home and in schools.
The Country Cleanup Challenge, an effort to pick up litter and trash from our hiking trails and country parks.
The Coastal Cleanup Challenge, bringing awareness to the vast and vital issue of marine debris, especially disposable plastic.
The Zero Waste Corporate Challenge, helping companies achieve and continue to achieve zero waste goals by providing comprehensive, targeted zero waste solutions.
Help Hong Kong Cleanup engage 5% (360,000 people) and turn the tide on trash, by leading the way, sharing this important message and engaging your family, friends, colleagues, and classmates in this movement. For more information on how to help save our Earth by becoming part of what is sure to be Hong Kong’s biggest Cleanup to-date, please visit www.hkcleanup.org, and or call 2868 5585.