The results of a survey conducted by WWF-Hong Kong reveals that nearly 80% of respondents support regulation of single-use plastic tableware in the F&B industry. Conducted between November 2018 and February 2019, the survey asked more than 3,000 people across 10 districts how they react to dining outlets that offer single-use plastic tableware, the frequency with which they bring their own utensils and how they feel about statutory regulation of disposable plastic tableware. Interviews with restaurants operators and a pilot scheme jointly launched with non-profit organisation School of Everyday Life was undertaken to formulate possible solutions to tackling disposable plastic tableware.
The results of the survey show that 76% of respondents have previously refused single-use plastics when purchasing take-away and over 60% of respondents have previously avoided restaurants that serve disposable plastic tableware. This shows growing support in Hong Kong for addressing the disposable plastics crisis and preserving the ecological health of our marine environment. It’s time for the government to formulate a workable timeline for the F&B industry to phase-out single-use plastics and work with the industry to ensure a smooth transition that is a win-win for all parties.
“Single-use plastics are affecting every corner of the world, and especially our ocean environment, sparking an international push to replace them with more sustainable options, said Dr. Patrick Yeung, Manager, Oceans, WWF. “Single-use tableware represent one of the largest categories of marine litter in Hong Kong. We should not ignore the enormous role our disposable lifestyles play in this issue, and the importance of sustainable choices in our daily lives. Hong Kong should take a regional lead in this transboundary issue.”
“The survey was undertaken in support of WWF-Hong Kong’s call on the government to regulate single-use plastics in the F&B industry, by setting a timeline for phasing out all single-use plastic tableware after 2021 and banning polystyrene by 2022,” said Suzanne Cheung, WWF-Hong Kong’s Head of Conservation Policy. “At the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in March, 170 countries signed a global framework for sustainable development including trickling plastics pollution. With only 13% of plastics in Hong Kong recycled, and dinnerware constituting about 10% of disposed plastics waste, Hong Kong has an important opportunity to echo the global call on mitigating marine plastic pollution.”