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Hong Kong waste pollution
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5 Ways to reduce plastic waste from deliveries and takeaway

Do your part to help the environment

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Amidst a global pandemic that has taken over all of our lives, there has been a massive increase in food deliveries and takeaway options in the city. Whilst this has been a great measure for many of us working from home to maintain social distancing and of course, a chance to support local businesses, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy good food whilst helping out the environment. Aside from asking for no plastic cutlery when ordering delivery and bringing your own containers for takeaway, those of you looking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle can do so by ensuring that you are reusing and recycling.

To get you started, here are some fantastic local recycling companies that can help properly dispose plastic packaging, bottles, and other daily waste. By Jessica Luisa Chan

RECOMMENDED: Achieve a zero-waste lifestyle with the help of these stores in Hong Kong

Ways to reduce plastic waste from deliveries and takeaway

New Life Plastics
Photograph: Courtesy New Life Plastics Ltd

New Life Plastics

Unfortunately, Hong Kong has no official policy to enforce mandatory waste separation, so a large number of recyclable items often goes to the landfill. It is estimated that 5.2 million drinks are consumed from PET plastic bottles on the daily! If you’re looking to make sure your plastic waste is being properly taken cared of, New Life Plastics is a great company that collects bottles and containers to have them processed and recycled properly at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun. They have a number of collection points across hospitals, universities, schools, managed buildings, offices, and MTR stations in Hong Kong, and despite not being a door-to-door service, their collection points are easily accessible for all!

Visit nlplastics.com.hk for more info.

Tap, Return, and Earn

Just finished a bottle of water and feel bad about chucking it away? Looking for a recycling bin but can’t find one? Recycling collection points in Hong Kong are scarce, and even if you find one, they’re often overflowing with trash. In 2019, Swire Coca-Cola HK, Octopus Cards Limited, and the World Green Organisation came together for a joint initiative, Tap, Return, and Earn, to encourage Hongkongers to recycle their plastic bottles at their ‘reverse vending machines’. Simply bring your empty bottles (between 300ml to 2L) to one of their many locations in Hong Kong and feed it to the machine. For every bottle, you’ll get a 10 cents cash rebate while the joint initiative donates another 10 cents to environmental protection education. So, the next time you buy yourself a bottled beverage or clear out the stash of bottles in your room – yes, we’ve all been there – take a moment to check out their website and see if one of their machines is nearby.

Visit wgo.org.hk/scchkrvmeng for more info.

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Drops of Fun
Photograph: Courtesy A.S. Watson Group

Drops of Fun

If you need a better incentive to recycle than saving the planet, Watsons Water’s Drops of Fun programme gives the public plenty of reasons to recycle. The programme offers users access to over 400 Green Point water bottle recycling locations across Hong Kong, where they can drop off their plastic bottle waste and receive points in return. Every bottle will be rewarded with five points, and for as little as 25 points, you can cash out a $50 coupon to be used at places like ParknShop. Other redeemable offers include discounts and free dessert at restaurants, access to trail classes and workshops, exclusive Watsons merch, and many more. 

Download Drops of Fun app on Apple Store or Google Play or visit ww-fun.com for more info.

Waste Less app
Photograph: Courtesy Waste Less

Waste Less app

The Waste Less app allows you to recycle more than just plastic bottles. It's always a pain to find a recycling bin in Hong Kong, but with Waste Less, it only takes a couple of clicks to find the nearest recycling collection points. The app displays photos, addresses, opening hours, and more, so you can help the environment at your convenience. So, when you're finished with your delivered or takeaway meal, whether it's contained in paper, plastics, metals, or glass bottles, open up the app and find them a new home when you're done!

Waste Less app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

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ECF Community Recycling Centres
Photograph: Courtesy Environmental Protection Department

ECF Community Recycling Centres

For those of you without immediate access to recycling facilities, the Environment and Conservation Fund established a Community Recycling Centre back in 2009 that has expanded across numerous districts and neighbourhoods over the years. Residents can register to their nearest recycling centre and exchange waste plastics for daily necessities like rice, toilet paper, and instant noodles if needed.  

Visit wastereduction.gov.hk for more info.

HK Recycles
Photograph: Courtesy HK Recycles

HK Recycles

If you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to reduce your waste, HK Recycles is the route for you. This commercial and residential based collection service has the facilities to reduce and recycle paper, plastic, metal, glass, and other waste items. Whether you want to introduce your office, your school, or even your entire apartment building to a good recycling scheme – or maybe you just need to get rid of the intensifying amount of recyclable waste you and your family has collected over the last months – HK Recycles offers a one-off collection service ($450), and monthly ($400/month), biweekly ($700/month), or weekly ($1300/month) subscription packages. Pick a monthly or annual collection package and make recycling part of your waste management. Make sure to check out their websites for special neighbourhood deals as these change constantly.

Visit hkrecycles.com for more info.

Keep your sustainable lifestyle going

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