ECC and EPD partner with F&B sector to promote plastic-and-disposable-free takeaways (with photos)

The following is issued on behalf of the Environmental Campaign Committee:
     The Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC), the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Hong Kong Catering Industry Association (HKCIA) will jointly hold a publicity and education campaign entitled "Plastic-Free Takeaway, Use Reusable Tableware" to encourage members of the public to go plastic-and-disposable-free for takeaway orders so as to reduce the use of disposable plastic tableware. Representatives from various food and beverage (F&B) associations and companies and green groups attended a launch ceremony today (November 15) to show their support for the plastic-free campaign, in the hope that various sectors of the community can join together to help realise the vision of a plastic-free ocean.
     Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said that the Government is highly concerned about the environmental impact of plastic waste, and is committed to organising a wide range of activities to encourage members of the public to reduce the use of disposable plastic tableware and practise waste reduction at source. Following the "Plastic Free Beach, Tableware First" campaign held at public beaches and nearby eateries in mid-2018, the EPD is joining the ECC, the F&B sector and three major fast food chains to launch the "Plastic-Free Takeaway, Use Reusable Tableware" campaign to encourage various sectors to minimise single-use plastic waste by bringing their own reusable cutlery and going plastic-and-disposable-free when they order takeaways.
     Mr Wong pointed out that the support of the F&B sector is indispensable to the successful implementation of the plastic-free campaign. He said he believes that participation of the three major fast food chains will play a leading role in the F&B sector, encouraging more companies from the sector and other stakeholders to go plastic-free and raise public awareness to do the same, with a view to promoting waste reduction for all. He added that the campaign is a good example of tripartite collaboration between the general public, the trade and the Government.
     In addition to partnering with the F&B sector, the Government will continue to implement a number of enhanced and new initiatives to reduce the use of disposable plastic tableware, Mr Wong said. Starting from January next year, the Government will take the lead in banning plastic straws and polyfoam food containers in premises mainly serving government staff, and requiring restaurant operators in government venues to avoid using disposable plastic tableware when awarding new or renewing existing contracts through tender exercises. In the long run, the Government will study the feasibility, scope and mechanism of controlling or banning disposable plastic tableware. 
     The first phase of the "Plastic-Free Takeaway, Use Reusable Tableware" campaign will be held as a pilot programme at the three major fast food chains in Hong Kong (Café de Coral, Fairwood and Maxim's MX) for about two months. Starting from tomorrow (November 16), members of the public can get a sticker for each disposable-free takeaway order they make at the participating fast food chains. After collecting six stickers, they can redeem a set of reusable stainless steel cutlery for free or enjoy a complimentary hot drink at the restaurants as necessary, so as to encourage members of the public to go plastic-and-disposable-free when ordering takeaways. They are also advised to use the redeemed cutlery suitably or share the free gifts with others to help promote the green practice.
     The ECC and the EPD will maintain close liaison with different stakeholders in the F&B sector and extend the campaign to cover more restaurants, with reference to the implementation of the pilot scheme and its operational experience, with a view to enabling the plastic-and-disposable-free culture to take root in the community.
     In addition to the campaign, to support the United Nations theme of "Beat Plastic Pollution" for this year's World Environment Day, the ECC is holding a series of activities to promote the concept of going plastic-and-disposable-free, including the "NO Disposables Campus Award" and plastic-free online games. A reusable tableware lending programme will also be launched next month to provide free reusable cutlery sets for large-scale event organisers. For details of various ECC projects and activities promoting waste reduction and plastic-free, please visit the website
     Other officiating guests at today's launch ceremony included the Chairman of the HKCIA, Mr Tommy Cheung; Convenor of the ECC Publicity Working Group and member of the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee Ms Li Chun-chau; and the Permanent Secretary for the Environment/Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Donald Tong. The ceremony was also joined by representatives from the three supporting organisations, namely the Assistant Corporate Director of Café de Coral Holdings Limited (Ltd), Ms Joyce Chiu; the Operation Manager of Fairwood Holdings Ltd Sales and Operations Department, Mr Eric Chan; and the Head of Marketing of Maxim's Group Quick Service Restaurant and Catering Services Division, Mr Alex Lam.

Ends/Thursday, November 15, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:05