Date
11 December 2017
The project simulates the routes land waste flows through drains, rivers and Hong Kong waters, making use of GPS devices. Photo: HKEJ.
The project simulates the routes land waste flows through drains, rivers and Hong Kong waters, making use of GPS devices. Photo: HKEJ.

HK litter reaches as far as Taiwan, study shows

A study by a conservation group suggested litter dropped in Hong Kong may float as far as Taiwan.

WWF-Hong Kong deployed 110 GPS devices in storm drains and rivers in Hong Kong including Shing Mun River in Sha Tin, Tai O and Yau Tong early this year.

The group found that among 40 percent of the devices placed in the drain, half of them followed the drain, flowing to the sea, Apple Daily reports.

The conservation group and a local enterprise specializing in environmental technology called MakerBay in March launched a three-year marine litter tracking project. Nearly 300 secondary school students participated in the project.

The project simulates the routes land waste flows through drains, rivers and Hong Kong waters, making use of GPS devices.

WWF marine project manager Patrick Yeung said that between June and August, 300 secondary school students deployed 10 GPS devices in outfalls and rivers in each of the 11 locations including Sha Tin, Tin Shui Wai, Kwun Tong and Lei Yue Mun.

Researchers tracked the voyage of these devices using an online system for three weeks.

They made a screen shot every alternate day, recording the voyage details when the device flowed to the river, to the sea or to the shore.

Yeung said among 110 GPS devices, about 40 percent of which were deployed at the outfall, half of them had flowed to the sea.

More than 70 per cent of the GPS devices flowed following the rivers while 40 percent flowed to the sea.

Yeung said a GPS device deployed at Yau Tong in June flowed to Taipei following a sea route. Another two devices deployed in Tai O and Kwai Chung flowed to mainland China and Macau, respectively, from southwestern Hong Kong.

The project has a year to go. Results will be released in March and April.

Yeung urged the government to allocate more resources to reduce waste from the source.

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JC/BN/RA

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