Using bamboo to unleash creativity

June 10, 2018

Bamboo is a familiar sight in Hong Kong where it is used as scaffolding and for creating temporary structures, but much of it ends up in landfills after use.


This year 49 tonnes of bamboo used to set up stalls at 15 Lunar New Year fairs was collected for the Reuse & Upcycling Programme for Bamboo.


The scheme was set up by the Environmental Protection Department and the Environmental Campaign Committee, together with non-profit organisations Green Come True and JupYeah.


The collected bamboo was then used to make items ranging from fences to wind chimes.


Second life

At upcycling workshops held by Green Come True, people gave the used bamboo a second life by making wind chimes, pen holders and even rain sticks, an instrument which makes a noise resembling rainfall.


Participant Ho Siu-yu said upcycling the bamboo helps lessen the burden on Hong Kong's landfills.


She said: "Our landfills are nearly at capacity, so I believe it will be good for Hong Kong if we recycle or upcycle more materials."


Green Come True Co-founder Hill So said bamboo can be made into a wide variety of objects including tables and swings.


"We hold the (workshop) and teach the people how to use the bamboo to make tables, swings (and) how to use the bamboo to cook rice and chicken."


Mr So hopes the activities will extend the lifespan of the material and reduce waste.


"We hope we can bring a message that there is a benefit (in the) sustainable use of the resources and sustainable waste management."


Environmental group JupYeah, which is Cantonese for "picking things up", invites local designers and architects to use old bamboo creatively.


The bamboo they collected was used for large tables at a charity book sale event.


JupYeah has also turned bamboo into hangers and crutches to help people lead environmentally friendly lifestyles.


Its Co-founder Ren Wan said: "If we want to solve our environmental problems we need creativity to explore more possibilities."


Fun process

Environmental Protection Department Senior Administrative Officer James Chan said the Reuse & Upcycling Programme for Bamboo shows upcycling can be a fun process.


"We would like to use the programme as a means to tell the public that if we unleash our creativity, we can really show our care to the environment and have fun in the process."


The department plans to continue collecting used bamboo from Lunar New Year fairs and to invite more organisations to participate in the programme.


The Government is committed to promoting waste reduction and recycling.


Last year the Environmental Protection Department and the Business Environment Council launched a guidebook on waste reduction for major community events.


The guidebook helps event organisers formulate waste management and clean recycling strategies.

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