Plastic’Apocalypse

On boxing day, I went to PMQ to watch the excellent but heartbreaking documentary film “Plastic China“.  The film depicts a village in Shan Dong province which has numerous primitive plastic recycling plants processing plastic waste imported from all over the world.  The protogonists are the owner of one of these tiny factories, his employee (minority migrant worker from far away Sichuan province) and their … Continue reading Plastic’Apocalypse

Plastic’Apolcalypse

On boxing day, I went to PMQ to watch the excellent but heartbreaking documentary film “Plastic China“.  The film depicts a village in Shan Dong province which has numerous primitive plastic recycling plants processing plastic waste imported from all over the world.  The protogonists are the owner of one of these tiny factories, his employee (minority migrant worker from far away Sichuan province) and their … Continue reading Plastic’Apolcalypse

Inequality in Hong Kong

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) of HKSAR Government recently announced that the Gini Coefficient, a measure of inequality (based on original monthly household income) was 0.539 in 2016, a historically peak since 1971.  The C&SD of course did not mention this latter piece of information in its press release.  Instead they said the higher Gini Coefficient “indicated that the household income disparity widened during the … Continue reading Inequality in Hong Kong

Students Lead the Way to a Greener Future

As the semester winds down and summer vacation begins, university students living in halls need to empty out their room and return it to the university. Personal belongings such as clothing, stationery, kitchen ware and personal care products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash) are often simply thrown in the trash. Three years ago, a group of green-minded students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) … Continue reading Students Lead the Way to a Greener Future

Real Environmental Leadership

In early May, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) announced that from June 8th 2016  onwards, it will no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles nor provide members with plastic bags or straws. According to its Facebook’s post, the Club’s Rear Commodore Sailing, Anthony Day said, “Reducing the amount of waste being dumped into our oceans is one of the challenges of our … Continue reading Real Environmental Leadership

A Students Open Letter

  NOTE This open letter is re-published with permission from the environmental action group Grebbish. —————————- Let your action match your words! Potato@結束一桶專棄 I am a university student participating in a competition called ‘Glocal Greenovation’. The competition is a corporate social responsibility event hosted by Sasa and VolTra, and it is supported by twenty-five organisations and companies, including the Environment Bureau, and Google. The competition was … Continue reading A Students Open Letter

Plastic Disaster on Rainy Days

The climate is definitely changing – the Hong Kong Observatory issued its first ever amber rainstorm warning in January.  If you are bringing an umbrella with some dripping water indoors – what would you do? In the 1980s, most restaurants had an umbrella rack with individual locks placed near the entrance.  As a child, I always wanted to try it out, but my parents always … Continue reading Plastic Disaster on Rainy Days

Rooftop Farming

Urban farming on rooftops has been gaining traction in cities around the world. Its rise can originally be traced to consumers increasing awareness of carbon emissions that result when our food travels hundreds, if not thousands of miles from the farm to our table. As an experienced urban farmer that grows on the rooftops of commercial buildings such as the Bank of America Tower, and … Continue reading Rooftop Farming

Meat Free Landfills

DSC_0517

While strolling through a Wellcome supermarket one evening, I saw the staff removing 30 or so packs of unsold meat from the fridge, and putting them in a black plastic garbage bag. I asked whether it was going to be thrown away as trash. The friendly worker nonchalantly replied “yes”, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

These packs of unsold meat, sitting in foam trays and enclosed in plastic wrap, will be sent to the nearby landfill. There, they will decompose anaerobically, emitting a horrendous stench and methane, a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more powerful than CO2.

In 2012, research by Friends of the Earth (FoE) revealed that Hong Kong’s supermarket chains were throwing away tons of food everyday. FoE estimated that the big four supermarket chains: ParkNshop, Wellcome, China Resource and Jusco (now renamed Aeon) combined were sending 87 tonnes of food to the landfill each day. According to FoE, “In a year, the food they throw away is equivalent to the weight of two thousand double decker buses.” Of that amount, one third is bread, vegetables, fruits and even sushi that is still edible. Two thirds consists of peel and expired food which they classified as non-edible (However, as John Oliver explains in this hilarious segment, the expiration dates set are quite arbitrary and most food is still edible well past the expiration date). Continue reading “Meat Free Landfills”