"Go Green Waste Less" Summit calls for concerted action from community (with photos)

     The Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) jointly held the "Go Green Waste Less" Summit at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this afternoon (April 10), providing a platform for District Councils (DCs) and community groups to share their experience in organising community participation programmes in environmental protection. Approximately 200 representatives from the DCs, local community organisations and green groups attended the Summit.

     Starting in 2012 the ECC, the EPD and the Home Affairs Department (HAD) jointly embarked with the DCs on the Community Participation Programme in Environmental Protection in Collaboration with District Councils (the Programme) to implement district-based environmental programmes and mobilise the community to practise green living. 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 2014/15 is "Community Waste Less Action - Waste Not, Re-Use More, Recycle Properly". Riding on the successful experience and the active participation of the public in the past two years, the DCs have been continually promoting various environmental publicity events. In addition, in support of the full implementation of the plastic shopping bag charging (PSB charging) that came into effect on April 1 this year, additional funding has been granted to each DC to organise activities to promote the green habit of BYOB (bring your own bag).  

     Officiating at the Summit, the Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, said protecting the environment is an essential element in Hong Kong's sustainable development, while public participation and support are indispensable in promoting environmental protection. Noting that today's Summit provided a platform for different sectors to explore how the green concept of "use less, waste less" can be promoted at the district level, she expressed her gratitude to DCs and community groups for their best efforts in organising environmental activities, thereby disseminating the green message to different corners of the community.

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said in his welcoming remarks that waste reduction at source is the core of the waste reduction strategy, and that a series of measures to take forward "use less, waste less" is coming on stream. To build a greener Hong Kong, Mr Wong said he hoped that the DCs would continue their support for related policies and initiatives as well as their active participation in organising community environmental programmes with local groups.

     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 Acting Director of Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan; and representatives of the 18 DCs. Other participants came from the DCs, local community groups and government departments.

     At the Summit, representatives from the DCs shared and summarised the achievements of the 2014/15 Programme. Guest speakers from youth groups also shared with participants their experiences and challenges in implementing waste reduction initiatives.

     Before the end of the Summit, certificates of appreciation were also presented to schools participating in a newly launched special award scheme under the 13th Hong Kong Green School Award, namely the Waste Less School Award. The new award scheme aims to reduce waste through competitions and educational activities so as to encourage schools to prepare for municipal solid waste charging in future.  

     Display panels were set up at the venue today to showcase community environmental programmes organised by the DCs, details of the PSB charging, various environmental education programmes organised under the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign in the past two years and an introduction to the Waste Less School Award.  Participants could also instantly download the "Waste Less" mobile application, which was launched by the EPD, for information on over 7,000 recyclable collection points across the territory and the latest information about waste reduction and recycling in Hong Kong.

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

Ends/Friday, April 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:25