December, 2019
The Green Earth wishes everyone a better, greener and healthier life in 2020!

Hong Kong: the most severe waste crisis in its history

The latest figures of the Environmental Protection Department revealed that Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste disposal per capita in 2018 was at its highest since 1991. Plastic recycling rate sank to 7%. Plastic beverage bottle export recycling rate slumped to a regrettable 0.2%. It is beyond dispute that passing the legislation on municipal solid waste charging before the end of the Legislative Council session in mid-2020 is of utmost urgency.

Hong Kong : a free port for waste trade

In comparison with the year before, industrial waste in 2018 increased by a record-breaking 24.4%. Whether waste import has contributed to such a high growth is a matter that requires further investigation. We urged EPD to keep a close watch on the issue.
Furthermore, our investigation uncovered that waste traders have been making use of Hong Kong’s free port to re-export low-end plastic waste to developing countries. As a result, Hong Kong became the second and third largest source of plastic waste of Thailand (for the first nine months of 2019) and the Philippines (for the first seven months of 2019) respectively.

Plastic waste outside a mosque in Indonesia.

Credit: Stiv Wilson, The Story Of Plastic

Light Pollution

Responding to the Government’s review of light pollution measures, we have investigated the prevalence of light pollution in the high-risked districts such as Mongkok, Causeway Bay and the Victoria Harbourfronts. TGE urged the Government to apply mandatory measures onto the switch off schedule, and strengthen control on emerging light pollution sources, such as LED panels.

First Hong Kong Trails Day promoting nature trail conservation

TGE organized the first Hong Kong Trails Day and the 40th birthday party for MacLehose Trail on 19th October to promote nature trail conservation. Guests shared oral history of “Memories of MacLehose” during the kick-off ceremony. The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam Sing and the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Dr. Leung Siu Fai repaired MacLehose Section 10 together with other guests by building “stone baskets” and by filling gullies with recycled yard woods.

Highlights in HK Trails Day (Chinese version only)
Explore stories behind Hong Kong trails
From now till the end of January, visitors will find guiding boards along eight selected hiking routes. Guiding information including history, natural ecology, country trail erosions and restoration methods, etc, will be shown upon scanning of the QR code. The "Sustainable Trails" Self-guided Tours are designed by TGE aiming at making hiking journey fun and educational with interesting stories and practical information of nature trail conservation.

Plantation Enrichment Programme – Tree Care Day
Autumn is a season of weeding. On 9 November, 80 Towngas volunteers revisited “Towngas X TGE” tree-planting site in Clearwater Bay Country Park and to weed and add fertilizers to ensure healthy growth of the young seedlings. 
Corporate beach cleanups
Over the past three months, we collected and removed more than 550 kg waste from coastal areas. We are grateful to have the enthusiastic support from our corporate partners including Canon Hong Kong Company Limited, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited and Veolia Environmental Service China Limited.
Green Elites Campus Accreditation Programme

TGE is participating in CLP Green Elites Campus Accreditation Programme. Through school talks, upcycling workshops of plastic waste and country park cleanup activities, primary students are able to learn about environmental problems caused by plastic waste and  to establish a plastic-free lifestyle particularly in school or festive events.
Green sharing
Sharing with the business sector on the trend and importance of good ESG performance 
Sharing with Veolia Hong Kong’s team at their new head office on waste challenges
Sharing with tenants of Kerry Properties on waste charging policy and plastic pollution 
Green Event Support
Though event organizers faced with more unstable factors recently and even cancelled their events, many of them have not forgotten their responsibility in making their event green. All green preparation work in various events is still going on. Some of the events TGE has supported in the past season:
.St James Go Run
.Pink Walk
.HK168 Ultra Trail Running
.Tai Po Half Marathon 
The Plastic Free Precinct 2019

TGE worked with The Star Street Precinct to organise The Plastic Free Precinct recycling hub for 17 days in October. Assisted by a group of energetic green ambassadors, the hub engaged public in learning correct separation of each type of plastic, and to promote green lifestyle and reduce use of plastic in Start Street Precinct.  
Purchasing insurance can reduce carbon emissions?

TGE is pleased to note that Zurich Insurance (HK) tries to raise awareness on carbon reduction through its “one policy one tree” campaign. From now till 31 January, 2020, the insurer will plant one tree in Zurich Forest in Madagascar, Africa, for every successfully enrollment for Zurich insurance policy via The policyholder will receive a tree certificate which indicates the species and location of the tree. A mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of CO2 in one year. Let's act to reduce carbon emissions!
The articles TGE has published from October to December:

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