With numerous events of different nature and scales held in Hong Kong every year, event organisers should pay more attention to the promotion and practice of waste reduction and recycling when preparing various exhibitions and publicity activities. They are encouraged to take the lead and set an example for other event organisers to raise the environmental performance of the events and publicise the results to the public directly. The following are some successful green mega events to share:
HKFYG Run for Wellness
In January 2018, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) formulated a “Reference Document for Waste Reduction in Large-scale Events” (Reference document) for internal use, with the aim of making extra efforts in environmental protection. One of the opportunities to implement the measures in this document was HKFYG Run for Wellness (a large-scale event held in April 2018). HKFYG helped to reduce waste at source and promote clean recycling, thus enhancing the environmental performance of the event.
HKFYG Run for Wellness attracted around 4,000 runners to gather at the Science Park for the 10km and 3km races. In view of the large number of disposable paper cups thrown away in most running events, HKFYG rented reusable water cups for the first time for distribution at different water stations along the race course, and provided multiple water refilling stations for participants to refill drinking water. Some participants welcomed these measures and believed that the amount of waste generated could be minimised.
When organising the running race, HKFYG planned various waste reduction measures, such as printing less “Runners’ Handbook” and encouraging the participants to read the contents by electronic means. In particular, a section on “Green measures” was specifically included in the handbook to appeal to the participants for their co-operation to protect the environment. For instance, no disposable duffle bags would be provided by the event organiser. HKFYG also liaised with the transportation operators on increasing the frequency of transport and encouraged the runners to take public transport so as to reduce carbon footprints.
For waste management, HKFYG placed a number of recycling bags with appropriate labels at the venue to facilitate the recycling of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and waste paper by the runners and members of the public, so as to ensure that the waste materials were properly recycled. HKFYG also collaborated with the Conservancy Association to recruit volunteers as environmental ambassadors, who were stationed next to the recycling facilities to remind the public about the key points of waste separation and clean recycling, including understanding the types of recyclables, how to clean plastic bottles, and separating the caps, labels and body of plastic bottles. HKFYG also interviewed some runners to collect their suggestions on green measures for improvement in planning future events.
Runners showed positive response to the green measures implemented in the race. HKFYG will continue to make reference to the Reference Document for future events to achieve its environmental mission, to enhance the green elements of the events and to raise the environmental awareness of the youth and the public.
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens 2017 & 2018
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens (Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens) 2017 and 2018, hosted by the Hong Kong Rugby Union, were held at the Hong Kong Stadium on 7-9 April 2017 and 6-8 April 2018 respectively with a total of more than 220,000 participants. With the joint efforts of the event organiser, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), cleansing contractors, universities and catering operators, a series of education and publicity activities were held at the venue to promote the 3R concept. Some key points for waste reduction measures and related education and promotional activities are highlighted below:
1.Plastic cup/jug collection device
The plastic cup/jug collection device was designed with tubular plates and slot openings to facilitate the collection of plastic cups/jugs for recycling. The device aimed to promote clean recycling of plastics and minimise the space required for the collection of bulky plastics by stacking up the cups/jugs inside the trays on the device.
Plastic cup/jug collection devices
2.“Pour Here Before Recycle” bin
The fluid collecting device comprised a red plastic bucket with a sieve installed on the lid. A sticker was affixed to its side with the image of the Big Waster and a slogan “Pour Here Before Recycle”. The device was placed adjacent to the plastics recycling bins to promote clean recycling among the spectators.
“Pour Here Before Recycle” bin
3. Banners for recycling station
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free banners printed with the slogan “Tackle Waste To Win” and the image of Big Waster were displayed at the recycling stations to disseminate the message of waste separation and recycling. They were posted above the recycling stations in order to avoid visual obstruction by the crowd of spectators.
4. Discount of $10 for beer refill for customers bringing their own jugs
To encourage the reuse of plastic beer jugs, the beer supplier offered a discount of HK$10 for any customer bringing her/his own jug (from previous purchase) for every single beer refill.
5. Reverse Vending Machine
A set of reverse vending machine (RVM) was set up at the venue for the collection of used plastic cups.
Reverse Vending Machine for collecting plastic cups
6. Props to encourage waste separation and clean recycling
To further enhance the recycling rate, Green Ambassadors were stationed at the recycling facilities, with hand-held props (one with the slogan “Separate waste correctly at source” and another with the slogan “Drink up before recycling”) to raise public awareness on proper and clean recycling. The caterers on-site were reminded to keep the corrugated carton boxes for recycling.
After the completion of the Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens, the event organiser also prepared and published waste management summary reports for the event. Details are as follows:
Summary of the environmental performance on waste reduction and the experience gained in the events is available at the report card for Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens 2017 & 2018(Chinese version only).
Hong Kong Flower Show 2018
The Hong Kong Flower Show 2018 was held at Victoria Park from 16 to 25 March 2018. It was organised by the LCSD with a total number of 720,000 participants. The event organiser implemented the following specific waste recycling measures to minimise waste generation as well as to increase the recycling quantity:
- Collection of data on waste and recyclables;
- Provision of recycling facilities including recyclables collection points (RCPs) to collect recyclables from exhibitors, and recycling stations (RSs) with remarkable signage for easy identification;
- Collection of yard waste (particularly the wilted plants) for composting in the EPD’s Animal Waste Composting Plant (AWCP) in Ngau Tam Mei; as well as collection of substrates (particularly the soil);
- Collection of paper, particularly carton boxes, and metal cans for recycling; and collection of wooden pallets/planks for reuse and/or recycling;
- Collection of food waste and avoiding using disposable cutlery and utensils;
- Educating cooked food stall operators on how to participate in the collection of food waste for recycling;
- Free distribution of potted plants to reduce wastage;
- Provision of drinking water stations with reusable cups to reduce the generation of waste plastic bottles;
- Recruiting Show Ambassadors during the show, volunteers for the Green Recycling Day (GRD), as well as green volunteers and volunteers from public and private sectors for the GRD after the event;
- Publicity and education activities to promote waste reduction and recycling at the EPD’s booth; and
- Publicity and education activities (on-site or using the social media platform) to disseminate green messages to the general public and related parties (e.g. bring your own bottle and bring your own bag).
“Give the Flowers a New Home!” Jockey Club Flower Re-planting Scheme (“「賞花，惜花！」賽馬會花卉重新栽種計劃” in Chinese)
Under the“Give the Flowers a New Home!” Jockey Club Flower Re-planting Scheme, plants and exhibits suitable for re-planting are collected by the LCSD and sent to its leisure venues for landscaping after the Hong Kong Flower Show every year. Some of the collected plants are sent to schools, registered charitable organisations and non-profit making organisations. In 2018, the Scheme was extended to the general public, allowing plant-lovers to come to the event venue on the first day of the Green Recycling Day (GRD) and pick up one pot of dahlia, the theme flower of the Show.
Apart from the plants, the substrate (including but not limited to soil, peat moss and potting mix) was also collected for any interested parties (particularly schools, organisations and corporations) to adopt on the first day of the GRD (26 March 2018).
Distribution of potted flowers to the public Volunteers selecting plants for donation
Flowers that had wilted or could not be re-planted were collected and placed at the “Wilted Flowers Collection Point” set up by the LCSD at the event venue during and after the Flower Show. To encourage the recycling of wilted flowers and promote environmental awareness, such yard waste was delivered to the EPD’s Animal Waste Composting Plant for recycling into compost. In 2018, a total of 7.53 tonnes of wilted plants were collected.
Wilted plants were collected and delivered to the Animal Waste Composting Plant
Education and Publicity Activities
The support and engagement of the event participants play an essential role in achieving the waste reduction and recycling measures in place. The LCSD set up a total of 28 Green Stalls to promote waste reduction and recycling through green promotional games and activities. To educate the general public the green measures of the Hong Kong Flower Show, the LCSD publicised green tips for both event participants and exhibitors on the Flower Show website.
A booth was set up by the EPD to promote waste reduction and recycling through a mini game on source separation and a red packet upcycling workshop. The mascot “Big Waster” was also arranged to greet the participants for promoting the slogan “Dump Less, Save More”.
Red packet upcycling workshop Mini game on Source Separation
Wooden planks collected at the RCP
Summary of the environmental performance on waste reduction and experience gained in the event is available at the report card for Hong Kong Flower Show 2018(Chinese version only).
The 14th Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair
The 14th Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair was held on 4 March 2018 at Fuk Chun Street, Tai Kok Tsui. It was organised by the Mong Kok Kai Fong Association (MKKFA) with a total of 150,000 participants. During the planning stage of the event, the organisation engaged with major stakeholders, such as exhibitors, the EPD’s contractor, suppliers, etc., to develop and implement the following waste reduction measures in order to achieve the waste reduction targets.
Exhibitors is the key stakeholder of the event, so their support plays a vital role in promoting waste reduction. In view of this, the EPD’s contractor produced a “Recycling and Reduction Strategy” (the Strategy) to encourage the exhibitors to comply with the 3R principle, i.e. to reduce, reuse, and recycle and dispose in the last resort. At the same time, the Strategy also provided various educational information, including the location of recycling facilities at the event venue and proper way of recycling, so that the exhibitors could implement proper and clean recycling during the event. The MKKFA also assisted the EPD’s contractor in disseminating the Strategy to the exhibitors by email.
“Poon Choi” Supplier
The “poon choi” feast is the key programme of the temple fair. The “poon choi” supplier hired by the MKKFA not only provided “poon choi” service for the temple fair, but also assisted in collecting food waste after the event. Before the event, the MKKFA requested the “poon choi” supplier not to provide bottled and canned beverages, disposable cutlery (including bowls, chopsticks and spoons) and wet wipes, and use reusable tablecloths instead of disposable plastic ones in the event in order to minimise the use of single-use items. A total of 6,300 pieces of waste plastics, 6,048 pieces of disposable cutlery, 2,000 pieces of disposable wet wipes and 500 pieces of disposable tablecloths were reduced. In order to ensure that the collected food waste met the recycling requirements of the EPD’s pilot composting plant, the EPD’s contractor educated the staff of the “poon choi” supplier before the event on the separation of food waste to prevent the mixing of food waste with the non-recyclables.
Drinking Water Supplier
In this temple fair, the MKKFA did not provide bottled water to volunteers, guests and event participants. The MKKFA collaborated with the drinking water supplier to set up four drinking stations and provide reusable water bottles and cups at the event venue, so that event participants could use the on-site drinking facilities. Participants were also encouraged to bring their own water bottles. According to the statistics of the MKKFA, a total of 2,800 plastic bottles (430 ml) were saved.
The MKKFA set up on-site water stations for use by the participants
Box Meal Supplier
The MKKFA provided lunch and dinner for volunteers and staff in the past temple fairs. In this event, the MKKFA requested the box meal supplier to replace the disposable polyfoam meal boxes with reusable ones. A total of 647 disposable meal boxes were saved.
“Pai Lau” Contractor
The MKKFA sets up two large-scale “Pai Lau” for decoration at the event venue each year for the temple fair. In the past temple fairs, the “Pai Lau” were disposed of by the contractor. After negotiation between the MKKFA and the contractor, the contractor agreed to reuse the timber and iron rods of the “Pai Lau” as far as possible after the event so as to reduce the waste of resources./p>
Event VIPs and Participants
At the opening ceremony of the event, the MKKFA presented the electronic certificates of appreciation to the officiating guests instead of printing hard copies and thus reduced paper usage. In addition, in order to appeal to the event participants for their support of the green temple fair, the MKKFA added green messages on the tickets for the “poon choi” feast to encourage participants to bring their own cutlery and drinking water, and participants were also welcomed to bring their own containers to take away the leftovers, thereby reducing food waste.
The MKKFA presented e-certificates to the guests on stage
In order to promote recycling more effectively in the event, the MKKFA recruited 15 students from tertiary institutions as green ambassadors for the temple fair. They were responsible for supervising and managing the recycling stations during the event, educating the event participants to practise proper and clean recycling and assisting in the promotion of green messages in the educational booths. The ambassadors also assisted in the collection of food waste after the “poon choi” feast and ensured that the food waste collected met the quality requirements of the EPD’s pilot composting plant.
Reuse of Materials for the Event
According to the MKKFA, materials for the event, such as banners, costumes of volunteers and performers and flags, have been reused for many years, and this temple fair was no exception. After the event, volunteers of the MKKFA cleaned, repaired and stored the materials for reuse in future temple fairs.
Materials were sorted and stored after the event, and will be reused for the event in the coming year
Summary of the environmental performance on waste reduction and the experience gained in the event is available at the report card for The 14th Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair(Chinese version only).