Did you know that in 2019, waste plastics and other recyclables only accounted for 0.3% of all the materials recycled in Hong Kong?
According to the Environment Protection Department, in 2020 more than 14,700 tonnes of waste was disposed of per day in Hong Kong, which is almost 5.4 million tonnes per year. Whilst locally there are some recycling facilities, the majority of waste is not recycled or recovered in Hong Kong. This performance, as outlined in the Waste Blueprint 2035, is due to the recent decline of the external recycling markets.
In simple terms, a circular economy (CE) follows the saying - ‘One person’s trash is another person’s treasure’. The general aim of the CE is to close the loops of raw materials and redirect used products and resources back into the economy. Doing this keeps all materials at their highest utility value possible by preventing toxic materials from entering landfills.
To give a snapshot of how reusing materials can help, here’s a stat – for each tonne of waste plastics that is transformed into recycled pellets or other raw materials, the value generated is between HK$1,200 - HK$15,000. If just a quarter of all the waste plastics were repurposed into new materials, the economic benefit could be HK$1 billion per year.
It is crucial that businesses lower their environmental impact and use their business as a force for good. As businesses play a critical role in the production and manufacturing processes, they need to start innovating ways to reduce their waste. There are numerous ways to join the circular movement, depending on how businesses operate. For example, businesses can reduce the consumption of raw materials by procuring sustainable and second-hand materials to input into their supply chains. Another example is reusing and repurposing existing materials to make new products. The possibilities are endless!
Circular economy is a solution for Hong Kong to ensure more materials from waste streams are captured and recovered. It’s a collection of strategies, old and new, that help reshape the economy and eliminate waste.
At Smart Energy Connect, we believe in the use of innovation to make sustainability a practical reality. We want to take responsibility for a decarbonised future in our hands and create a Circular Hong Kong.