"Go Green, Waste Less" Summit mobilises community to reduce waste (with photos)

     The Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) jointly held the "Go Green, Waste Less" Summit in the Conference Hall of Central Government Offices, Tamar, this afternoon (April 11), providing a platform for District Councils (DCs) and other parties to share their experience and insights concerning the promotion of environmental protection in the community. An award presentation ceremony for the School Waste Reduction and Recycling Education and Awareness Campaign 2012-13 was also held at the Summit, which was attended by approximately 180 representatives from the DCs, local community groups and schools.

     To further cultivate the "use less, waste less" culture in different sectors of the community and to mobilise community action in environmental protection, the ECC, the EPD and the Home Affairs Department (HAD) have worked with the DCs on the Community Participation Programme in Environmental Protection in Collaboration with District Councils since 2012 to jointly promote environmental education, waste reduction at source and recycling programmes. Funding was granted by the EPD to each DC through the HAD to organise environmental programmes at the district level.

     The theme of the Programme for 2013-14 was "Community Action on Waste íV Use Less, Reuse, Recycle". A total of 43 partner organisations were engaged by the DCs to organise various district-based education, promotional and recycling programmes. The number of participants exceeded 80 000 and the housing estates participating in waste recycling programmes covered a population of over 110 000 residents. Today's Summit provides a platform for participating organisations, members of the local community and other stakeholders to share their experiences and ideas on organising community environmental programmes.

     Officiating at the Summit, the Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, said public participation is important in achieving the goal of "use less, waste less". She expressed her gratitude to the DCs and local organisations for their efforts in vigorously accelerating the process of community participation and environmental work.

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said in his welcoming remarks that the DCs and local people have been playing an important role in promoting environmental protection in the community. Their support for the Government's waste management measures is key to sustaining and expanding the scope of community mobilisation. The Summit provided a platform for different groups to meet and discuss an action plan to tackle the imminent waste problem. Other officiating guests attending the Summit included the ECC Chairman, Mr Lam Chiu-ying; the Permanent Secretary for the Environment/Director of Environmental Protection, Ms Anissa Wong; the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Pamela Tan; and representatives of the 18 DCs. Other attendees came from the DCs, local organisations, schools and government departments.

     At the Summit, representatives from the DCs shared, reviewed and summarised the experiences and achievements of the environmental programmes held last year. Also, guest speakers from different sectors and organisations including the MTR Corporation, St James' Settlement and Maxim's Group shared with the attendees their outcomes and experiences in waste reduction initiatives, including the use of waste reduction facilities, community promotion and participation, and food donation campaigns. They joined Mr Wong and Mr Lam during the Plenary Session to exchange views and ideas on the way forward in promoting waste reduction at source in the community.

     Before the end of the Summit, the Award Presentation of the School Waste Reduction and Recycling Education and Awareness Campaign 2012-13, jointly organised by the EPD, the ECC, the Education Bureau and the Yan Oi Tong EcoPark Plastic Resources Recycling Centre, was held to commend the awarded schools and students in the Reduce Your Waste and Recycle Your Plastics Campaign for their outstanding performance in promoting and participating in waste reduction and recycling inside and outside schools last year.

     Display panels on waste reduction were also set up at the venue today with content ranging from the Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources and community programmes organised by the DCs last year to the achievements of the School Waste Reduction and Recycling Education and Awareness Campaign. Attendees could also instantly download the "Waste Less" mobile application, which was recently launched by the EPD, for information on recyclable collection points at public places all over Hong Kong.

     Founded in 1990, the ECC aims to enhance public participation to protect the environment. It organises environmental programmes every year, including the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence, the Hong Kong Green School Award and the Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme.

Ends/Friday, April 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:34