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Each year, Hong Kong generates around six million tonnes of solid waste, and throws away a whopping 1.3 billion plastic bottles – an amount large enough to circle the Earth eight times if linked together<http://greenearth-hk.org/en/greenbottle>.


We spoke to Hong Kong’s local community of zero waste and sustainable living experts and advocators to find out ways to reduce waste daily – because every bit helps.


‘Whether cooking at home or eating out, knowing what to do with produce is often key to using up the entirety of our ingredients. Recipes of cooking from “root to leaf” or “nose to tail” is great for home chefs, but professionals can also serve more of these dishes both as a way of educating consumers as well as reducing trimmings. Having only the best cut of meat or the best leaves from the vegetable create waste, so our choices matter.’ – Daisy D S Tam, assistant professor and food researcher, Hong Kong Baptist University

By cutting down on plastic bags, straws, drink lids and takeaway containers we can all make a difference

‘There’ll be times when you’re sick of some clothes, and no DIY-ing, re-styling or visiting a tailor will make you fall for them again. For these, dispose sustainably! Never chuck them out. Depending on how high-quality they are, you could swap them with friends, sell them via physical or online consignment stores, or donate them to charities’ collection containers. There are hundreds of large outdoor used clothing containers for donations, and even fashion retailers like H&M and Zara have in-store collection containers for used clothes.  Redress receives all of the used clothing donations that are donated within Zara stores in Hong Kong and Macau, and we work tirelessly to transform unwanted clothing to benefit the Hong Kong community.’ – Christina Dean, Founder of Redress and author of Dress [with] Sense


‘Cut back on plastic – easy everyday ways include refusing a plastic straw, carrying a reusable coffee mug and saying no to all plastic bags. You could also carry your own refillable water bottle everywhere, use a washable takeaway food container and ditch single-use cutlery. To do even more, contact your favourite restaurant and ask them to cut down on plastic by re-evaluating their takeaway containers, disposable cutlery and straw policy.’ – Tracey Read, Founder & CEO Plastic Free Seas

By cutting down on plastic bags, straws, drink lids and takeaway containers we can all make a difference

‘Try to repair instead of replacing. Many things can have a dent, a crack or a small problem, but can enjoy a new life with a little TLC. It may be easier to get a new one, but consider the value in making good use out of your resources and save some money at the same time. I’d also suggest getting a "No Circular Mail" from the post office – this magical sticker will avoid all the unnecessary advertising that lands in your mailbox. Every step counts.’ – Raphaël De Ry, Founder of Zero Waste Bulk Grocery Store Edgar


‘Take care when reading food date labels. A use-by date indicates when a product may no longer be safe to eat. You shouldn't eat, cook or freeze it after this date. However, a best-before date is an indication of quality not safety. Generally, items with a best-before date have a long shelf life and can be safely consumed after the date has passed. Things like their colour or texture might not be perfect, but you don't need to throw them away the minute their best-before date is past! If you do find anything in your cupboard that you bought on impulse and are unlikely to use, donate it to Feeding Hong Kong and we'll make sure they get to somebody who would otherwise go without.’ – Gabrielle Kirstein, Executive Director, Feeding Hong Kong

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