Date
18 November 2017
Among the top 10 types of marine garbage are styrofoam packing, plastic and glass, according to Green Council. Photo: Facebook/Plastic Free Seas
Among the top 10 types of marine garbage are styrofoam packing, plastic and glass, according to Green Council. Photo: Facebook/Plastic Free Seas

Marine garbage surging, coastal clean-up group finds

Pollution in Hong Kong’s coastal areas has become more serious, with the amount of garbage found recently on beaches significantly higher than in the same period last year.

More than 54,600 pieces of trash were picked up between September and November during 69 clean-up activities in 35 areas, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing non-profit group Green Council.

While the number was close to that a year ago, the combined weight exceeded 4,800 kilograms, an increase of 400 kilograms.

The council said part of the reason the weight surged was there was a big number of large waste such as refrigerators.

Among the top 10 types of marine garbage unveiled by the council, the top three were styrofoam packing, plastic and glass, unchanged from last year.

Food packaging such as for candy and chips returned to the list this year at seventh, with the amount jumping nearly 80 percent year on year.

Chiu Chun-kit, a director of the council, said the surge of such packaging could be due to people’s habit of leaving garbage on beaches and manufacturers’ practice of packing food item by item.

The packing is generally so light that it can easily flow across the sea and reach Hong Kong.

Although the council did not distinguish coastal garbage by source, it suspected most of it came from mainland cities, judging from the packing and simplified Chinese characteristics on the trash.

Ho Hui-ping, the council’s director general, said unregulated dumping of construction waste continues to be a serious concern, blaming it on insufficient support from the recycling industry and lack of recycling facilities, news website hk01.com reports.

She urged the government to improve cooperation with mainland authorities and environmental groups, and strengthen law enforcement to keep citizens from littering.

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TL/AC/RA

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