Glass waste in Hong Kong’s coastal areas has increased significantly, topping all other kinds of garbage, according to the Green Council.
The findings, which were unveiled on Monday, came after the environmental group mobilized about 2,800 volunteers to conduct 53 rounds of clean-up work at 24 coastal points, including Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong and outlying islands.
The clean-up took place between September and November for the 10th year in a row, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Volunteers collected a total of 51,000 pieces of garbage with a combined weight of 3,287 kilograms, down around 31.5 percent from 4,800 kilograms a year earlier.
While this was seen as a good sign, especially that the amount of styrofoam and plastic bottles has greatly decreased, the Green Council said it was worth noting that glass waste has increased to top all kinds of garbage.
Statistics show there were about 13,500 pieces of glass waste, or 26.4 percent of the total, found and collected on the coasts, more than thrice the 4,300 pieces last year.
Steven Choi Chun-pang, the group’s senior project manager, said seafood restaurants on coastal areas were suspected to be the main source of glass waste because the glass shards were mostly found in places that are famous for al fresco seafood dining, including Lei Yue Mun in Kwun Tong and Sam Shing Estate in Tuen Mun.
Cheung Ki-tang, a member of the Kwun Tong District Council, said he has not received complaints about people discarding glass bottles, although he did not rule out that a small number of restaurants would do so because of convenience.
Cheung suspected the discarded glass bottles were mainly washed up on the shore by the typhoons that hit Hong Kong this summer.
The Green Council called on the public to work with the government to ensure glass waste is properly recycled. The government has been trying to improve the glass recycling system.
The government is expected to begin imposing recycling levy for glass bottles as soon as next year, with the aim of increasing the recycling rate to 60 percent from 10 percent at the moment.
Besides glass waste, the Green Council also noted that 2,106 pieces of construction waste were collected, up 25 percent year on year, pushing its ranking to fifth from 13th a year earlier.
The increase might have had something to do with the increase in the Construction Waste Disposal Charging Scheme effective in April, which prompted contractors to dump such waste randomly to avoid higher charges.
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