Zero Waste Week Hong Kong is a citywide challenge to send less to landfill for the week of 7 to 14 June.
Nissa Marion cleaning up a beach with two volunteers
A community outreach, thought leadership and social media campaign, the challenge brings attention to the necessity to reduce the output of waste in Hong Kong.
Leading the movement are Lisa Christensen and Nissa Marion, founders of Hong Kong Cleanup and Ecozine. “As a social movement, Zero Waste Week encourages all members of the Hong Kong community to take action by pledging to reduce the amount of waste they send to the landfill. We like to think of it as a boot camp for bins – where size zero is the aim,” says Christensen.
“We started Hong Kong Cleanup 15 years ago, and in that time have seen over 200,000 people clean up over 17 million kg’s of trash. Cleaning up continues to be important, however Hong Kong is ready for the next challenge – it’s now time to reduce our trash at the source”, said Marion.
Hong Kong Cleanup founders, Lisa Christensen, and Nissa Marion, with a team of volunteers cleaning up a beach in Sheko
Zero Waste Week challenges individuals, schools, offices, and businesses to send less to the landfill and Make a Pledge to reduce waste. This could be a pledge to use only reusable materials, to use ZERO disposable plastic bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, or takeaway containers or to make a pledge to send nothing at all to landfill. Every bit helps.
During the week of 7 to 14 June, a series of public events will take place to share the notion of Zero Waste with the community. Joining the conversation will be globally acclaimed Zero Waste Expert Paul Connett, author of The Zero Waste Solution and co-star of the documentary film Trashed. Other international speakers include:
- Joan Marc Simon [Executive Director, Zero Wast Europe] – Spain
- Pal Martensson [Coordinator, Zero Waste International Alliance] – Sweden
- Sonia Mendoza [Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation] – Philippines
- Rowan Williams [Regional Market Development Manger, Asia Pacific, Biopolymers, BASF] – Australia
The week’s events, listed below, will be held all over the city. Tickets for the Zero Waste Global Summit can be purchased fromhttp://www.eventbrite.hk/e/zero-waste-global-summit-tickets-16950369010
|Monday, 8 June||Corporate Round table & Government Meetings|
|Tuesday, 9 June||Zero Hero Happy Hour|
|Thursday, 11 June||Global Zero Waste Summit|
|Friday, 12 June||Zero Waste Youth Conference|
|Weekend, 13-14 June||Cyberport Bazaar with healthy, eco-marketplace – free for the whole family!|
Why is Zero Waste important?
Hong Kong generates 6 million tonnes of waste per year – equivalent to 240,000 double decker buses, more than 50 times the number of buses in Hong Kong – and the government is already spending millions of dollars to clean up and dispose of it. With the landfills in Hong Kong almost full, vast amounts are left to nature, which not only threatens wildlife and ecosystems, but also puts human health and safety at risk along with undermining tourism and economic activity.
According to a scientific research paper just released, about eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world’s oceans each year. The new study is said to be the best effort yet to quantify just how much of this debris is being dumped, blown or simply washed out to sea.
Eight million tonnes is like covering an area 34 times the size of Hong Kong Island to ankle depth. The quantity entering the ocean is equal to about five plastic grocery bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.
The Hong Kong government is planning to build an incinerator and implement a waste-charging scheme. However, we believe it is up to us, the caring citizens of Hong Kong, to take personal responsibility and minimize our trash footprint. We are the solution.