Extensive garbage at mall causes environmental concern

Reporters: Yu Wai Shan, Lau Man Hin, Lam Wing Ki

Kwai Chung Plaza is a famous food paradise in Hong Kong. However, the amount of garbage generated by the mall has attracted the attention of the environmental protection group, suggesting that customers should bring their own tableware to reduce the trash.

About 70 restaurants can be found in Kwai Chung Plaza, including fast food restaurants and tea houses, producing around nine to ten-tons of garbage every day. According to the plaza management, the amount of waste was more than 40% compared to that in other plazas, and disposable tableware formed up the largest proportion.

A cleaner of Kwai Chung Plaza, Kit said, she has been working for the plaza for three years. She was responsible for cleaning from the first to fifth floors. She claimed that the trash bin will be full again within half an hour after cleaning. Kit complained: “Diners are wasteful, lots of food and disposable tableware are being thrown away." Being a cleaner of another Plaza, she said the garbage from Kwai Chung Plaza is comparatively much more.

In order to reduce the waste of Kwai Chung Plaza, environmental groups map out to launch a campaign of “Consuming Without the Package” (裸買運動), aiming to encourage at least 10% diners of the plaza to bring tableware themselves through offering discounts to the customers by individual shop owners.

Mr. Chan, a fast food shop owner of Kwai Chung Plaza, said he fully supported the concept of “Consuming Without the Package”. He believed that the campaign could reduce the amount of waste produced but hesitated about offering discounts. “We only run small businesses, and not many profits made.” Although he agreed that shop owners should have social responsibility, cost is too high to run a business. Instead of letting individual shops to offer discounts, he suggested why didn’t the Owner's Corporation coordinate all the shops to launch a rebate program? He proposed that: diners who bring their own tableware are given scorecards with which they can collect rewards or concessions from the Owner's Corporation of Kwai Chung Plaza.

The plan was fully supported by the Owner's Corporation of Kwai Chung Plaza. They also suggested that the fast food shops could even provide reusable tableware to the customers.

However, Ms. Lin, a fast food shop owner of Kwai Chung Plaza said: “Providing reusable tableware is not feasible here. Not only the high cost of self-cleaning appliances at shops, our shops in Kwai Chung Plaza is narrow and there are no places for dishwashing.”

The founder of Green Sense (環保觸覺), Roy Tam Hoi-pong, believed that the effective way to reduce the amount of waste is the reduction at source. “The amount of garbage in the mall was huge because the garbage was not classified and all the garbage was thrown in the same trash bin,” Roy said. Therefore, he suggested that different types of recycling bins could be placed in the mall.

Suggestions are suggestions. When you visit Kwai Chung Plaza next time, help yourself to be a wise diner.


Trash bins in Kwai Chung Plaza are always full of disposable tableware.

Being a cleaner at Kwai Chung Plaza is not an easy job.