Are you sending mooncakes to friends and loved ones this coming Mid-Autumn Festival?
A food recycling group has this advice: make sure the intended recipients of your gifts would like to receive them before doing so.
Food Grace, founded by the Confederation of Trade Unions Education Foundation in 2009, said a survey it conducted recently showed that about a million mooncakes were just thrown away last year, and as many as 430,000 of these pastries ended up in landfills, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The group interviewed 349 families and 42 organizations between July and August to analyze the behavior of mooncake gift senders and recipients during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Actually, the amount of uneaten mooncakes last year was not as bad as in the previous years.
The survey showed that 67 percent of the family respondents consumed all the mooncakes they bought or received in 2016, compared with just 57 percent in 2015 and 46 percent in 2014.
Still, the families interviewed admitted that, on average, they did not consume 1.03 mooncakes each last year.
So based on the survey, about a million families in the city had wasted as many as 1.03 million mooncakes, with about 430,000 dumped in landfills, Food Grace said.
However, over 80 percent of the 42 organizations surveyed said they will continue to send mooncakes this year, suggesting that the festive pastries remain the traditional gift to mark the occasion in the business world.
But some of the organizations said they wish they will receive coupons, fruit baskets and green products instead.
More than half of the organizations said they received mooncakes last year, and over 90 percent of them said they would share the mooncakes with their employees.
Nearly 40 percent said they would pass the mooncakes to charitable organizations.
When asked if they wanted to receive mooncakes, over a third of the organizations said they “do not wish to” and “do not wish to very much”.
Food Grace recommended that individuals and companies try to know what the intended recipients of their gifts want to receive before taking action, and to choose suitable gifts to mark the festival.
In an effort to reduce food waste at the source, Food Grace has launched a campaign asking companies and other organizations to sign a pledge not to send or receive mooncakes as gifts for the occasion. The campaign is now on its third year.
More than 180 enterprises, public organizations and shopping malls in large housing estates are taking part in this year’s activity.
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