17 Sep 2021
How can a Circular Economy help solve Hong Kong’s waste problem?
Hong Kong is home to over 7.5 million inhabitants in an area of approximately 1,110 square kilometres. Being one of the most densely populated areas in the world, the population heavily depends on a constant supply of materials, energy and resources. But have you ever wondered where all these materials would go after they’re used?
According to the Environment Protection Department, in 2019 more than 15,600 tonnes of waste was disposed per day in Hong Kong, which is more than 5.5 million tonnes per year. Commercial and industrial waste comprised about 40% of the total Municipal Solid Waste sent to landfill, more than double the figures from 2010.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.
A Circular Hong Kong- what is it?
Did you know that in 2019, waste plastics only accounted for 0.3% of all the materials recycled in Hong Kong?
To give a snapshot of how reusing materials can help, here’s a stat – for each tonne of waste plastic that is transformed into pellets or other raw materials, the value generated is between HKD $1,200 -$15,000. If just a quarter of all the waste plastic were repurposed into new materials, the economic benefit could be HKD $1 million 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 be more circular, depending on how businesses operate. For example, businesses can reduce the consumption of raw materials through 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!
The 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.
ASPIRE believes in the use of innovation to make sustainability a practical reality. We want to take the responsibility for a decarbonised future and to create a Circular Hong Kong.
Keep an eye out on our upcoming blogs, newsletters and social media channels for more information on this new launch!