Environmental Guidelines on Mooncake Packaging Design
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Millions of boxes of mooncake are consumed every year, generating considerable amount of waste such as metal containers and other packaging materials. To provide guidance and help to mooncake manufacturers in introducing environmental considerations in their packaging design, the Environmental Protection Department ("EPD") issued the "Environmental Guidelines on Mooncake Packaging Design" in 2005. By adopting environmentally friendly packaging, mooncake manufacturers will be able to provide add-on value for their products through optimising the various factors during the design stage, such as environmental protection, hygiene, shelf-life, transportation, appearance, brand image and costs.
To promote environmental management of packaging materials, the EPD invited the major local mooncake manufacturers to sign the Voluntary Agreement on Management of Mooncake Packaging between 2008 and 2012. Under the Agreement, the participating manufacturers committed to conserving resources through better design and production processes, facilitating the re-use and recycling of used packaging materials, and minimising the adverse environmental impact arising from the disposal of used packaging in their manufacturing and retail operations. In particular, the mooncake manufacturers would:
- Contain the use of packaging materials per unit weight of mooncake to the level of the year in which the Agreement was signed, and endeavour to further reduce packaging materials to practicable limit;
- Adopt packaging materials that are recyclable and with minimum environmental impact on post-consumption management; and
- Support and facilitate recovery and recycling of used packaging materials.
The Voluntary Agreement has successfully raised the environmental awareness of the concerned local mooncake manufacturers to improve their product packaging. Overall speaking, there is less excessive packaging as compared to that in the past.
With the Voluntary Agreement Scheme ending in 2013, the EPD revised the "Environmental Guidelines on Mooncake Packaging Design" in early 2014 to provide the benchmark for reference of the mooncake manufacturing industry and continued to monitor and review the eco-friendliness of packaging methods of local mooncake products through periodic surveys. Overall speaking, the environmental awareness of the local mooncake manufacturers has been improving in the recent years and there is less excessive packaging as compared to that in the past. The EPD will continue to monitor market trends and encourage mooncake manufacturers to adopt more environmentally friendly packaging.