SME Earth Chat: How to Create a Plastic Free Society?
| Teresa Ng, CSR Officer, Meiriki Japan Company Limited
to the "2020 International Coastal Cleanup Report” published by Ocean
Conservancy last year in September, plastic food wrappers for candies and
potato chips surpassed cigarette butts for the first time since 1986, taking the
top spot on the list of most common garbage on the beach, showing that the
global plastic pollution problem is getting more and more serious.
addition to the top two items: plastic food packaging and cigarette butts, the
top 10 types of garbage (starting from the third place) are namely plastic
bottles, plastic bottle caps, straws and stirrers, plastic cups and plates,
plastic shopping bags, plastic takeaway containers, other plastic bags and
plastic lids. It is important to note that beach garbage is almost made of all plastic
waste, and some of them are actually recyclable.
to the statistics of the "Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong
2019", about 1,400 metric tons of plastic tableware is disposed of at
landfills every week. Clearly, the uncontrolled consumption of plastic
tableware has put a lot of pressure on the carrying capacity of landfills.
Besides, plastic pollution has a huge impact on the terrestrial and marine
environment. Plastic reduction is at the top of our environmental agenda.
company has always been committed to promoting sustainable development, by
engaging stakeholders externally and building a green company culture
internally. And, we hope it can infect people around us.
can often be seen getting takeaway for lunch. If everyone uses plastic
tableware for lunch, the amount is huge. We took the lead in implementing BYOC
(Bring Your Own Container) in 2019. In addition to providing environmentally
friendly lunch boxes to encourage employees to bring their own tableware, we also
appointed environmental ambassadors to search and personally lobby restaurants
in the Tsim Sha Tsui to support going plastic-free. If the restaurant welcomes people
to bring their own tableware, it can meet the plastic-free needs of customers.
At present, several restaurants have signed agreements to become plastic-free
restaurants, and some of them even offer a 12% discount to people who bring
their own lunch boxes. We hope this can spread from Tsim Sha Tsui to all
districts in Hong Kong.
the same time, the corporate social responsibility department even wrote to the
management office, suggesting that their shopping malls and restaurants support
plastic-free. I am glad to see that this year, Harbour City finally implemented
"Bring Your Own Box”, working with 25 catering merchants to reduce the use of
disposable lunch boxes and tableware. During the promotion period, customers
can bring their own eco-friendly lunch boxes to order food at participating restaurants,
and 10 restaurants even offer discounts.
road to plastic reduction is still very long. But I believe that with a small
step for everyone and each company influencing people around them in its own
field, a plastic-free society to reduce waste at the source is achievable.