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The Green Earth Wishes You A Happy Lunar New Year!

Stepping into Lunar New Year, let’s have a quick review on TGE’s work in the last quarter!
Bad news regarding waste issues kept coming in the last few months which were followed by some new government measures, where the public find the messages confusing. However, it has drawn attention to the public and triggered more people to act in their own ways to reduce plastic waste.

The Government Has Failed in Waste Reduction


The EPD released the latest solid waste status via the Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong 2016 report in last December. It showed that the daily per capita disposal rate of MSW was 1.41kg, which is the highest since 1993. The rise was mainly due to the growth of commercial and industrial (C &I) waste. Fortunately, waste reduction of domestic waste had kept dropping for the last five years though this could not offset the growth of C & I waste.

In 2016, the recycling rate of PET had dropped to a record low, from 7.6% in 2015 to 5.8%, which means the daily disposal of PET had increased from 136 tonnes (equivalent to 5.44 million of plastic bottles) to 158 tonnes (equivalent to 6.32 million of plastic bottles).

Related Articles:
綠惜地球就2016年都市固體廢物監察報告之初步回應 中期減廢目標無期 (2017/12/27)

把握油價回升 帶動廢膠回收 (2017/12/30)

What is Three Types of Waste Paper and Two Types of Waste Plastic?

Starting from 2018, mainland China has gradually tightened the category and amount of solid waste imports aiming to enhance the quality of imported waste and ban the import of unsorted waste paper, etc. In response to the mainland waste import ban policy, the EPD has launched a “Three Papers & Two Plastics” public education campaign which suggests giving priority to recycle three types of waste paper (namely cardboard, newspaper and office paper) and two types of waste plastic (namely plastic containers for beverages or personal care products). While other types of waste plastic and waste paper are not encouraged to be put into recycling bins or can only be sent to the five Community Green Stations.

TGE thinks the “Three Papers & Two Plastics” campaign is inconsiderate. If only code number 1 and 2 plastics are recycled, we estimate that the overall waste plastic recycling rate will sharply drop from 14% in 2016 to 5% this year. The envisaged outcome is going against the waste reduction goals. TGE has given the following response and follow-up actions.


Waste Paper No Watering Campaign


Watering to increase the weight of cardboard has been a common phenomenon in the waste paper recycling industry. This practice will badly affect the quality of waste paper as the fiber will be weakened. It will increase the difficulty of exporting those waste paper under the tightened import policy. TGE has called for no watering to waste paper, which has received positive response from the waste paper recycling industry and EPD, and the message is widely promoted.



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雜誌

Rescuing Waste Magazine Paper

Concerning about the plastic-coated pages may affect the quality of waste paper, the government did not encourage the public to recycle waste magazine paper originally. However, TGE’s research found that most of the magazines bought in Hong Kong do not have plastic coating. Even if it does, the coating is mostly applied to the front cover and the back page. The whole magazine can be recycled after tearing off the plastic-coated pages. TGE has produced a video clip to show the public how to check whether a magazine has plastic coating or not.

Video Link: Click here


Rescuing Non-Code 1 & Code 2 Plastic Bottles


The EPD has accepted TGE’s appeal to recycle plastic bottles other than code number 1 and 2.
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Plastic waste pollution has raised global attention. In the long term, the government should ensure various types of waste plastic will be recycled by providing lands and setting up a central plastic recycling plant to handle the low-value plastic recyclables that the free market has ignored. By doing so, it can reduce transferring our pollution to other places since the recyclables are sorted and turned into raw materials.

TGE’s Suggestion:
綠惜地球就「協助回收業界應對內地收緊進口回收物料的要求」之回應 (2018/1/2)

Related Articles:
環保團體聯署 就「應對內地提升回收物料的進口要求」之回應 (2017/12/19)
What Will We Do When We Can’t Dump This Problem On China? (2017/12/22)
雜誌無得回收?我們可以齊心拯救雜誌嗎? (2017/12/16)

Other Suggestion:
刀下留膠 綠惜地球倡議政府勿一刀切棄守回收廢膠 (2017/12/18)
廢紙禁淋水 回收業才能走下去 (2017/12/16)
廢紙風波未決 乾淨回收禁「淋水」 (2017/10/7)

Walk for The Green Earth 2018

The second Walk for The Green Earth successfully held on 13 January. Thanks to our 700 participants and volunteers for joining us! This year, TGE was grateful to have the support from Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical Centre and representatives from Light Pollution Research of Hong Kong University. Participants enjoyed an amazing day and night trip in Sai Kung Country Park by using astronomical telescopes to watch the beautiful starry sky. It was a memorable night for our participants.
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night walk
More Photos: Click here

Plantation Enrichment Project 2018


TGE is now preparing for the new round of Plantation Enrichment Project. Thanks to our volunteers for spending a few days with us to do the plantation preparation works. For those who would like to join our Spring plantation activities, please register to become our volunteer and pay attention to our activity promotion. The quota for plantation is limited. Priority is given to volunteer who has done preparation work, weeding and tree research for TGE.

Project Details

Green Events Keep Going!


The past season is the peak period for outdoor events. TGE was present in nearly all weekend events to help the organizers on waste reduction.
ECF Green event poster (final_cut)
NWS Geo Hero Run (2017/12/2)
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The event was held in a beautiful geopark. It was the organizer’s first time to encourage runners to ‘keep trash off the ground’ and to put waste and cups into collection bins at the water stations. The used cups - were collected for reusing or recycling.

Snapshots
TWGHs “iRun”- Hong Kong Jockey Club Special Marathon (2018/1/14)
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The organizer has set a three-year waste reduction target, and has invited TGE to conduct waste audit for the event.

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ECF “Be a Green Event” Outdoor Events Waste Reduction Supporting Scheme


With the support from the ECF, we have supported seven more outdoor events to help the organizers on waste reduction. We have collected more than 5,400 plastic bottles (estimated by weight) and 518 kg cardboard boxes and delivered them for proper recycling. The events include:
●Shatin IVE Green Day Community Event (12/2017)
● Pink Heels Pink 5K Run and Pink Heels Race (12/2017)
●Stride for a Cure Walkathon (12/2017)
●PB Runners – Tai Mei Tuk (12/2017)
● Ultra-Trail Tai Mo Shan (1/2018)
● Run Plus You (1/2018)
● Construction Industry Happy Run and Carnival (1/2018)
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“Be a Green Event” Outdoor Event Waste Reduction Supporting Programme targets charity outdoor events with 500 to 1,000 participants. We provide free waste reduction and recycling support including lending recycling bins, offering suggestions for waste reduction at source, ensuring proper recycling and providing onsite environmental education support. The programme is now open for application.

Programme Details
Album on SCB Marathon 2018 Environmental Measures Observation

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TGE has joined the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon as a runner and has observed the environmental measures of this large-scaled marathon along the whole journey. We hope these photos will encourage runners to think if they can run in a greener way, and reflect suggestions to organizers for improvement on environmental measures through submitting comment forms.

Album
“Plastic China” Movie Screening and Sharing Session (2017/12/1)

There is a saying that Director Wang Jiu Liang had used this movie to drive the Chinese government to tighten the imports of foreign waste. Hongkongers cannot just sit and watch, since Hong Kong is one of the contributors who has transferred a great number of waste plastic to the mainland for decades.

Snapshots
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Green Runners Volunteer Activity – Trail Repair (2018/2/3)
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With the kind help of 15 volunteers, TGE participated in the ‘Trail Maintenance Workshop’ organized by AFCD. It was our first time to use dead trees lumber to repair country trails. The volunteers helped to carry heavy lumber for repairing a section of the trail with serious soil erosion. Using natural materials with delicate skills, the trails were nicely repaired and became safe for walking again. Hikers passing by were so pleased with the repaired trails!

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Green Runners (2018/2/10)
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The Green Earth is organizing a series of leisure running tours by partnering with celebrity running coaches to explore green and healthy ways of running. The tours will bring you to different places covering urban areas and countryside to appreciate Hong Kong’s unique beauty and to give deeper thoughts on ways to ‘live green’. Celebrity coaches will join all sessions to share with us their special running tips, as well as the environmental topics that they concern.

The first running tour was completed on 3 Feb. Wong Ho Fai, an elite athlete of ultra-marathon and long-distance running coach, came to share his green running tips with our participants.

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Tung Lung Island Shorelines Cleanup (2017/12/10)
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Thanks to Canon’s volunteer team for joining us to clear the waste at the bay of Tung Lung Island and to listen to Uncle Wong who is responsible for collecting the island’s waste to share the difficulties of his work. We hope everyone will take their litter home instead of trashing the nature.
Beautiful Coastal Operation – Lai Chi Wo (2018/1/1)
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On the first day of 2018, TGE supported Beautiful Coastal Operation – Lai Chi Wo, held by Association for Sha Tau Kok Culture and Ecology, to clean up the floating garbage, like plastic bottles and plastic bags, with some other groups.
“Reducing garbage bins is a process of education. We hope people will take the responsibility of the waste they generate. If you think bring litter home is troublesome , you should consider how to reduce waste generation before going to the country park.” --- Vivien from TGE

TVB 時事多面睇「郊野垃圾」
Video Link: Click here
“I use home-made eco-enzyme to clean the floor. Adding 10ml of eco-enzyme into a bucket of water.” --- Janet from TGE

歲晚大掃除 廚餘酵素DIY
Article Link: Click here
From December to February, our team has released 25 articles:

洋垃圾經濟學 (2018/2/12)
港回收率已趕美 超英還須努力 (2018/2/10)
民間團體聯署敦促政府確切執行保育大嶼南政策 (2018/2/5)
電燈泡謀殺案 (2018/1/31)
Use Surplus To Green Our City (2018/1/31)
更多

With your kind support given to The Green Earth, we could make a small difference. Your encouragement and support will certainly help us to keep moving forward on the challenging green journey.
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The Green Earth, Room 703, 7/F, Kwai Cheong Centre, No.50 Kwai Cheong Road, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong