From the Environmental Protection Department, 3584 tonnes of food waste are produced in Hong Kong everyday and it fill up all the landfills in Hong King. To reduce food waste, the government propose recycling of food waste. The following report will analyse the opinions on whether the government should carry out recycling of food waste in Tsuen Wan. Food waste is defined as uneaten food and food preparation wastes from residences and shops such as grocery stores and restaurants.
The survey was conducted in Tsuen Wan Park and the bus terminus in Discovery Park on the afternoon of 1st and 3rd April so as to collect statistical information on the issue. 20 interviewees, including 10 male and 10 female, were interviewed. (Refer to appendices 1 and 2 for the Clean and the completed questionnaires)
Asking the interviewees had wasted food the day before, 40% of the interviewees said ‘Yes’. Among these interviewees, 75% of them replied only 0-10% of food had been wasted while 11-20% of food had been wasted by the rest and no one wasted more. More than half of them said the reason why they wasted food was due to the excess amount of food whereas 2 of them thought the food was disgusting. (Refer to appendix 4 for the analysis) The data shows 85% of interviewees thought the food waste problem was serious and very serious in Hong Kong and need to carry out the scheme of recycling food waste in Tsuen Wan to have a better environment and to reduce waste while 15% thought the problem was not serious.
But 1 interviewee responded it was unnecessary to carry out the scheme because food was thrown right after each meal. Almost half of the interviewees said citizens or the government should play the biggest role in the scheme. 65% of interviewees said there was not enough education and advertisements on recycling food waste. Around 80% of interviewees responded agree or totally agree meaning that they would recycle and reduce food waste because of the scheme.
However when asked about the effectiveness of the scheme, only 70% of them agreed that the scheme could solve the food waste problem effectively. 19 out of 20 interviewees showed that they agreed or totally agreed the scheme would raise their environmental awareness which is similar to theresults obtained from asking if they would reduce food waste.
Although most the interviewees did think the food waste problem was serious in Hong Kong, not more than half of them wasted food and the amount was just insignificant. Although there is the problem, it was not too serious.
But still, there is a need to carry out the scheme of recycling food waste so as to reduce waste and have a better environment. It is found that interviewees aged less than 25 were the most eco-friendly among all the interviewees due to their habits on treasuring food. The reasons might be have a high environmental awareness and high education level. However, they still thought the education and advertisements on recycling food waste were not okay. They also answered that the government and citizens should all work together on food waste recycling in Tsuen Wan.
These statistics showed the new born generation cared about the environment and want to work with the government so as to save the nature and the next generation. For the results, carrying out the scheme could reduce the food waste produced in Tsuen Wan as over three quarters of interviewees responded that they would recycle and reduce food waste when the scheme was launched. The scheme could raise the environmental awareness of citizens. As a result, the scheme would have many good things as not only would citizens produce less arbage but they would also recycle or reuse the waste. This would reduce the burdens of landfills in Hong Kong.
It is recommended to carry out the scheme of recycling food waste in Tsuen Wan. However, a series of advertisements should be showed in TV in the forms of short programs or advertisements in order to let citizens know the importance of recycling food waste and get familiar with the scheme. Leaflets or posters about the scheme could be posted and given out in crowded areas like the MTR stations.
Increasing education on recycling food waste is another preferred way since developing a good habit at childhood is important. The government should not only advertise the scheme but also have a certain number of informing from the public to discuss its details. With the cooperation of all citizens, a sound policy could be set up to deal with the food waste problem. Another suggestion is that the restaurants should provide choices on the amount of food because one of the major reasons for interviewees to waste food is the excess amount of food. In order to attract customers who eat less to choose the less amount of food, the restaurants should provide a larger discount. In this policy, the government could give subsidies to those restaurants which join the scheme.
To conclude, even though the food waste problem is not too serious, it is a must to carry out the scheme of recycling food waste. All citizens should participate in it as it is their responsibility to protect the environment. Education and advertisements could be increased to further raise the environmental awareness of citizens.