Going green with reusable tableware

December 23, 2018

More than 600 sets of reusable tableware were used at this year’s Yau Ma Tei poon choi banquet.


The poon choi feast capped off the YMT Festival 2018, which showcased the unique culture of Yau Ma Tei through activity booths, a variety show and a dragon dance, and is one of the first events to join the Reusable Tableware Lending Programme.


The programme, launched by the Environmental Campaign Committee and the Environmental Protection Department, aims to reduce the use of disposable tableware.


It provides 5,000 sets of reusable tableware to be lent free of charge to organisers of large scale events and has received more than 10 applications since its launch on December 17.


A contractor provided delivery, collection and cleaning services for the reusable tableware used by the poon choi diners who filled a basketball court in Yau Ma Tei.


Banquet participants said they supported the programme and wanted to play a role in protecting the environment.


“Disposable tableware generates too much waste, the reusable tableware can be used again after cleaning,” poon choi participant Ms Chin said.


Handy guide

The Environmental Protection Department and the Business Environment Council launched a guidance booklet last year on waste reduction for major community events.


More than 40 organisations have pledged their support for the guidebook.


With the YMT Festival 2018 nominated as a green event by the Home Affairs Department, its organisers said they also followed the guidebook to reduce waste and promote recycling.


YMT Festival 2018 Consultant Benny Yeung said: “We used social media instead of leaflets to promote the event, which helped to reduce the amount of paper used.


“The signage for each game booth can be reused and we set up some bins in different areas for people to recycle paper, plastic bottles and cans.”


Senior Environmental Protection Officer Cary Wan said the Environmental Protection Department is working closely with the Home Affairs Department to promote the green event guidebook.


“It suggests event organisers to set up drinking fountains instead of distributing bottled water to participants, and advises them to provide reusable tableware and to reduce the amount of souvenirs handed out,” Ms Wan said.


She also said organisers should properly sort waste and set up collection facilities for recyclables and arrange the reuse, donation and upcycling of the collected resources.


The Environmental Protection Department hopes the guidebook can boost the effectiveness of waste reduction and also help the public prepare for the implementation of municipal solid waste charging.

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