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Food wastage no more!!

Food wastage isn’t a new concept. We see in recent years, protecting environment has become a big issue around the world. We are educated to produce less rubbish and are familiar with the 5R life. On the other hand, we may not aware of the rubbish volume we produce. Let’s briefly discuss how we waste and how much we waste.

Let’s briefly discuss how we waste and how much we waste.

To start with a small but pertinent example that will speak to all coffee lovers: When you enjoy a cup of coffee, have you thought about the corresponding waste that emerges?

Pic: internet

If you use capsule, then you would have the empty capsule and coffee ground to throw away.

If you order at coffee shop, you would have paper cup and the paper mat to hold on hand.

If you do drip coffee at home, you would have dripping paper to throw at the least.

Image from internet

These tiny little rubbish we think are supposed to be thrown away. But did you know we can can actually save and recycle/reuse them. Coffee ground can use as body exfoliating scrub or as absorption of your fridge. In fact, food waste is a big category, it includes unwanted food parts during the production process, for example orange peel and carrot skin. Food waste also covers fish and poultry organs and intestines, fruit seed, leftover, expired food items, pet food. Hence, at the end we produce a great volume of household food waste every day.

Pic Courtesy: Environmental Bureau

Image from Environmental Protection Department

(The charts show components and distribution of waste in landfill, 2017 and 2018)

According to Environmental Protection Department (2018), in Hong Kong, we produce 3565 tonnes of food waste daily; approximately 250 double deck buses equivalent. 31% of total solid waste is “putrescibles”, which is different types of perishable and with odour organic waste, followed by paper and plastic wastes.

Image from Environmental Protection Department

(The charts indicate ratio of domestic food waste and commercial and industrial food waste in 2017 and 2018)

When looking into composition of food waste, domestic food waste dominates over 60%, the rest is commercial and industrial food waste. Exactly how much? That’s 0.32kg per capita a day for the former one; 0.15kg per capita a day for the latter one. In other words, households unintentionally generate unnecessary food waste every day. This tiny point we should aware of, maybe the first step is to look at rubbish bin to see what’s inside.

Waste is eventually sent to landfill. Hong Kong has three, which locates in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun, and Ta Kwu Leng and they are going to fill up this year. Tseung Kwan O is no longer receiving food waste but only construction waste. In particular coronavirus epidemic people order takeaway a lot more than the past, it creates much disposable meal boxes and plastic cutlery that accelerates the fill up of landfill. According to Greeners Action, it was projected during the epidemic that Hong Kong people used over 100,000,000 pieces of plastic every week; including straw, container, bags. Currently we only have 2 landfill areas and the capacity had already been extended. It seems there is no other landfill in the near future. You won’t want your bed underneath to be one landfill and sleep with waste, as well as the disgusting smell:P

Terms like recycling, upcycling, biodegradable are well-known. What’s better than do it from the beginning? Reduction is the best. Buy on demand, finish your plate, check expiry date. Easy!

Just to make it happen!!

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