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Happy ending

Happy ending:  Greeners Action volunteers visit high-traffic restaurant locations to reward customers who finish all the food they ordered.

Conservation consideration

Conservation consideration:  Fifteen restaurants are participating in a food-waste reduction program underway in Wong Tai Sin for six months.

Green thumb

Green thumb:  Priscilla Wong bought her own food-waste recycling bin to turn household food waste into fertiliser for her vegetable garden, and indoor and outdoor plants.

Landfill diversion

Landfill diversion:  The Environment & Conservation Fund offers subsidises to housing estates to set up food-waste treatment equipment and encourage households to reduce food waste

Holiday alert: Waste not, want not!

December 15, 2013

The festive season is fast approaching, with the promise of feasts. Before you sit down to another groaning table, keep an eye out for Foodwise ambassador Big Waster - and heed his advice: "Order only portions you can finish, buy only what you need. Please be conscious, stop the waste.”


He is joining fellow messengers from green group Greeners Action on excursions to crowded streets and shopping malls, rapping out his message while seeking satisfied diners with no leftovers on their plate.


As part of the Greeners Action food waste reduction program, the entourage is visiting high-traffic restaurant locations to reward customers who finish all the food they ordered.

Ms Lam and her family were surprised when Greeners Action volunteers handed her a $50 supermarket voucher after they finished all their dishes.

“We are not big eaters, so we ordered three set meals for the four of us. This lets us share different dishes and not waste food,” Ms Lam said.

The campaign to curb food waste has already been held in Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun. It has now begun in Wong Tai Sin and will last there for six months. Fifteen restaurants are participating, including fast food outlets, and Japanese, Chinese and buffet restaurants.


Lasting change

“We want to encourage people to change their habits,” Greeners Action executive director Angus Ho said.


“There are parties everywhere during Christmas and New Year. We want to remind people that our eyes are usually bigger than our stomach. We should order only what we need, not what we want, to reduce food waste.”


The participating restaurants have designated bins to collect food waste. The waste will then be transferred to the Kowloon Bay Pilot Composting Plant to be processed into fertiliser. Greeners Action expects about 100 tonnes of food waste will be diverted from landfills during the campaign period.


“I had no idea how to deal with the leftovers before we joined this program,” said Jimmy Chan, a manager of a participating Chinese restaurant.


“It makes sense to help reduce food waste. It’s easy, too, a habit. I will remind my colleagues to put the leftovers into the collection bins. They will get used to it.”


Home-based waste management

Food waste can also be collected on the home front. The Environment & Conservation Fund launched a food-waste recycling project scheme in housing estates  in July, 2011. Participating estates received subsidies to set up food-waste treatment equipment and to encourage households to reduce food waste.


Priscilla Wong lives in a participating estate in Tai Po, and joined the scheme when it launched. She separates her food waste from other rubbish every day, and puts it into a box the housing estate provided for its recycling.


Mrs Wong, an avid gardener, even bought her own food-waste recycling bin which sits in her back yard. She puts non-animal food waste into it, to turn it into fertiliser for her vegetable garden, and indoor and outdoor plants.


“This food waste was regarded as rubbish, but now it can be turned into something useful. I can also help reduce the burden on the landfills. It’s a meaningful measure,” Mrs Wong said.


Click here to learn more about the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign, to see how you can contribute to reducing food-waste.