Date
23 October 2018
Plastic bags and other rubbish left behind by campers is posing a threat to wild cattle, say environmental activists. Photos: Facebook/Candy Yau, Thomas Tse
Plastic bags and other rubbish left behind by campers is posing a threat to wild cattle, say environmental activists. Photos: Facebook/Candy Yau, Thomas Tse

Holiday campers leave behind piles of rubbish at nature spots

Environmental activists are expressing concern at the increasing amount of rubbish that is being left behind by people at popular camping sites in Hong Kong. 

Green campaigners and concern groups have noted with alarm that camping sites at some country parks and nature trails saw mounds of trash during the recent Christmas and New Year holidays.

News website hk01.com quoted an activist as saying that she was distressed to find wild cattle eating rubbish left behind by irresponsible campers at a Ngong Ping campsite.

The cattle threw up after eating the garbage, according to the activist, identified as Candy Yau.

Yau, who works for an environmental association, said she saw an animal munching on a plastic bag near a rubbish bin for almost 20 minutes.

The plastic bag contained kitchen paper and plastic spoons, which made the animal sick, she says.

People should dispose of unnecessary packaging materials before bringing food to the wild, as it will make it easier to take away the trash after camping or a picnic, Yau points out.

Meanwhile, she called on the government to step up campaigns to educate the public on issues related to disposal of items that take a long time to decompose naturally.

Chu Hon-keung, environmental advocacy director at The Green Earth group, said the situation at Hong Kong’s countryside calls for a “cultural revolution” in order to ensure that people take their rubbish along with them while leaving.

Chu noted that people tend to believe that they fulfilled their civic duties just by throwing rubbish into refuse bins. But what the citizens seem to forget is that wild animals see rubbish bins as their dining spots, he said, pointing to the dangers that the trash poses to the animals.

On Lantau Peak, large piles of rubbish, made up of items such as beer cans, water bottles and instant noodles containers, were seen everywhere after holiday camping activities.

A netizen surnamed Lo said it took him three-and-a-half hours to carry some rubbish downhill to dispose the trash properly.

The task was so arduous that he almost wanted to call the Fire Services to help out, he said.

On Tung Lung Island, which is at the south side of Sai Kung, the situation was no better, with campers leaving behind mounds of trash during the holidays, nowTV News reports.

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