Over 3,200 tonnes of food waste is produced in Hong Kong each day. The amount produced by the hospitality industry alone has doubled in the last 5 years. The vast majority of this food ends up in landfill, where it is leading to the rapid depletion of our already limited landfill space and imposing a severe burden on the local environment.
In urban climates such as Hong Kong, emissions from decomposing food have a serious negative impact on air quality. In addition to producing wastewater, as food rots in landfill, it releases significant quantities of methane and carbon dioxide – greenhouse gases that capture and retain heat in the atmosphere.
By reducing the amount of food waste being sent to landfill, we cannot only extend landfill capacity but reduce the severe burden on Hong Kong’s already stressed environment. There is a long way to go but plans are underway to extend organic waste treatment facilities and encourage food waste reduction and source separation with businesses and consumers.
The Future’s Green
There are a small but growing number of Hong Kong companies that are leading the way in sustainable waste management. One of our favourites is the innovative Green Idea in Yeun Long, which collects used school lunch boxes and separates and recycles both the food waste and plastic container.