Figure 1: Hong Kong bans the use of single-use plastic products
Hong Kong is a state of modernity and innovation, leading to sustainability. Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ban single-use plastic products in a move that will have long-term environmental benefits for the city. This ban includes items such as straws, disposable tableware, and bags.
We know plastic products are the godfather of convenience. But, with their benefits comes an unfortunate by-product: waste. Plastic waste can take up to 1000 years to decompose and has been found in the stomachs of marine life, polluting oceans and coastlines worldwide.
According to official government figures, Hong Kong produces more than 2,300 metric tons of plastic waste daily. However, only 11% of this waste is recycled. To address the plastic waste problem in the city, the EEB is working towards enforcing the ban earlier.
To minimize plastic waste production and ensure sustainable development in the long run, we must reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. This blog post will further discuss the ban’s details and the best replaceable alternatives available.
The suspension of plastic products in Hong Kong
Figure 2: Single-use plastic ban in Hong Kong
Legislators in Hong Kong are moving up the deadline for a ban on single-use plastics in restaurants and service industry venues from 2025 to 2023 due to greater public acceptance of non-plastic disposable alternatives.
On October 18, the Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) in Hong Kong submitted a proposal to the Legislative Committee to ban single-use plastic tableware at restaurants in the first phase by the end of 2023. The second phase will eliminate takeaway containers by 2025.
The restaurants and service industry venues will be encouraged to replace plastic tableware with compostable products or reusable items. Many businesses in the city have already started using compostable products, such as bags made of jute and paper straws.
Why banning plastic is considered necessary
First and foremost, let’s talk about plastic waste. Did you know that over 300 million tons of plastic are produced yearly? Shockingly, around 50% of this plastic is for single-use purposes, like packaging and disposable items.
This immense production and consumption have led to a substantial increase in plastic waste generation. It is estimated that around 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans annually, equivalent to dumping one garbage truck of plastic into the sea every minute!
The impact on marine life is devastating. Plastic debris significantly threatens marine animals such as turtles, seabirds, dolphins, and whales.
According to studies, around 100,000 marine mammals and over a million seabirds die yearly from plastic ingestion or entanglement. These figures are truly heartbreaking and emphasize the urgent need to take action.
Additionally, plastic pollution affects our ecosystems in various ways. Plastics take hundreds of years to break down, and as they degrade, they release harmful chemicals into the soil and water. These chemicals can contaminate our food chain, affecting both animals and humans.
Using plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, tableware, and straws are wasteful and unnecessary practice. To protect our health and environment for the coming generations, we must replace plastic with biodegradable alternatives and reduce our consumption of single-use plastics.
Best sustainable alternatives for plastic cutlery and tableware
Figure 3: Bagasse tableware
Who does not want to enjoy an outdoor picnic with family and friends? Instead of buying disposable plastic that harms our environment, there are several eco-friendly alternatives that you can choose.
- Bagasse Cutlery
- Bamboo Cutlery And Tableware
- Coconut Shell Cutlery And Tableware
- Paper Tableware
GangXuan | Providing the perfect solution for sustainable events
If you are in Hong Kong and thinking that your cafe might face the challenge plastic ban, then no worries, we at GangXuan come with a perfect solution of eco-friendly tableware made from renewable resources. We are pioneers in making bagasse (sugarcane pulp) tableware products for sustainable events.
Our genuine concern is to make our planet greener and cleaner for better living. We want to lock the use of single-use plastics and advocate for a sustainable lifestyle. That is why we are working hard to make a positive environmental impact on the world.
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