For GREEN Hospitality (Pangaia Solutions Limited), one of the highlights of 2022 was the "Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry: Creating Circular Systems Through Education, Practice & Partnerships" project, which was made possible with the funding support of the Environment and Conservation Fund.*
Spanning from January to December, the project saw two three-month trials, each with a different batch of restaurants and bars (F&Bs). Over the stated period, we helped 20 F&Bs divert a total of 22,628 kg of waste from the landfill and reap a 22% potential saving on future MSW charge.
The project was conceived in the wake of the government’s announcement of municipal solid waste (MSW) charging, which is expected to come into effect in the second half of 2023 at the earliest. With waste accounting for 7.3% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Hong Kong, and the hospitality sector responsible for 34.5% of waste (or 1.96 million tonnes), we rode on the urgency of the government’s medium- and long-term goals for waste reduction and circulation to launch the project.
Our goal, first and foremost, was to familiarise the participating F&Bs with the MSW charging, while providing them with training onwaste segregation practices, so as to divert the amount of waste going to landfills and promote the culture of “use less, waste less, recycle”. With the participating F&Bs, we established a consensus at the beginning of the project that each of them would aim to reduce their landfill waste by 70%, and increase their waste segregation practice by 80%.
During the onboarding stage, we provided participating F&Bs with the education and training necessary for them to conduct daily waste measurement and segregation, as well as the subsequent data entry. In the second month of the project, the F&Bs would submit their individual monthly reports, and with our assistance, calculate their respective MSW bill. In the last month of the project, we helped each and every of the F&Bs analyse their aggregated waste data. To ensure the participating F&Bs could accurately and methodically collect data and segregate their waste, GREEN Hospitality provided hands-on support throughout the project period. For example, our Education Assistants were tasked with providing initial training, retraining of new staff, and monthly engagements for the F&Bs. Meanwhile, Waste Handling Assistants would handle special types of recyclables and conduct random audit checks.
The project, though laborious, was rewarding. At the end of the three-month project period, the 20 participating F&Bs had successfully diverted an average of 70% waste from the landfill (some top performers achieved 80-95% diversion). The project findings, insights, and best practices in waste segregation and reduction were shared with visitors to our ‘Zero Waste Festival’ at the Central Market on 30 November 2022.
We would like to thank the Environment and Conservation Fund for its funding support, as well as Eco Community Promotion Association Limited (ECPAL), The Loops and Baguio Green Group for making the collection services possible. Our heartfelt gratitude to the participating F&B outlets for their commitment to driving positive change: (Batch 1, June to August) Awa Awa, Bretzel Bistro Alsacien, Tell Camellia, Nissa La Bella, The Pontiac; (Batch 2, September to November) 121 BC Hong Kong, Café Claudel, CITTÀ, Cornerstone, Embla, Gustaci, Honjo, I-O-N Cafe & Bar, La Cabane Wine Bistro, LottaJoy, Louise, Ponty Cafe, Sake Central, TMK Punk & Rolls, and Uma Nota.
Through broad collaboration and sharing of knowledge, resources, and information, the hospitality industry can help Hong Kong achieve some of the waste reduction and resource circulation goals outlined in the government’s Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035.
Now that we have a programme structure and accumulated knowledge in place, we will look into further offering our assistance and training to the hospitality businesses such as hotels and restaurants who are looking to reduce waste and improve their recycling and waste management. F&Bs can gain the know-how to help the city achieve its 2050 carbon neutrality goal through waste segregation, reduction, and circularity.
*Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material/event do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Environment and Conservation Fund.