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  • Writer's pictureGREEN Hospitality

GREEN Hospitality: Well-placed to Ease the Hospitality Through Plastic Tableware Ban

The Hong Kong government’s decision to speed up the implementation of the disposable plastic tableware ban to as soon as the fourth quarter of 2023 certainly came as a surprise.


And a pleasant surprise at that: around this time last year, from our conversations at our Open Think Tank with partners in the hospitality and F&B industry, sustainability consultants, solution providers, sustainable product suppliers, and environmental conservation leaders, we could see a consensus on accelerating actions to phase out single-use plastics.


Since the news broke on the pushed-forward timeline for the disposable plastic tableware ban, hospitality and corporate partners have reached out to us at GREEN Hospitality, seeking advice and consultation on how best to adapt to the ban.


Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry

This came at a time when we are entering the final trial of our "Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry: Creating Circular Systems Through Education, Practice & Partnerships" project. 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 the funding support of the Environment and Conservation Fund*, we have been able to familiarise participating F&B outlets with the MSW charging, while providing them with training on waste segregation practices, so as to divert the amount of waste going to landfills and promote the culture of ‘use less, waste less, recycle’.


From June to August alone, we have helped our F&B partners divert a total of 6,992kg of waste from the landfill, and prevented 335.4kg of carbon emissions from waste disposal.


Here, we would like to thank 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.


GREEN Resources on Better Informed Procurement and Waste Reduction

However, for hospitality and F&B companies to cope with the MSW charging and disposable plastic tableware ban, the best way is to cut waste at the source. And here, procuring environmentally-friendly plastic alternatives is key.


Our Responsible Procurement Tool aims to be a directory that aids hospitality and F&B companies in the sourcing and procurement of plastic alternatives. If you would like to join other industry leaders to co-create and benefit from our Responsible Procurement Tool, reach out to us on research@greenhospitality.io


If you missed our ECF project, here’s what you can do to start implementing food waste reduction solutions in your bar or restaurant: check out our F&B Playbook! Rich in practical advice and real-life examples from our collaborator, TREEHOUSE, the 114-page Playbook features creative solutions for the entire span of F&B operations. Get a taste of the Playbook from this mini video series.

Strategic Workshops to Integrate Sustainability Throughout Business Operations


At GREEN, one of our strengths is tailoring bespoke, strategic workshops to help our corporate, hospitality, and F&B partners become a catalyst for sustainability.


We educate and equip participants with practical knowledge, skills, and tools to implement sustainability practices in their business operations. The workshops we offer can be conducted in person or online, and they include:

  • Waste Segregation & Waste Management

  • Single-Use Plastic Reduction Plan

  • Planet Friendly Food: Procurement, Management, Composting, and more

  • Get your Employees' Buy-in: Employee Engagement & Training

  • Design Thinking: Find Solutions for Your Sustainability Challenges Through Intrapreneurship & Innovation

We also run workshops to help companies engage employees in achieving ESG and sustainability goals, in addition to our advisory and research services on sustainability strategy development, circular system development and implementation, food waste audit, and more. Explore our range of bespoke programmes and services here and get in touch with us!


Connecting the Government and the Hospitality and F&B Industry

We are cognisant that we at GREEN Hospitality play an integral role in connecting the government, the hospitality and F&B industry, environmental conservation groups, civil society organisations, innovators and entrepreneurs, academia, and the public to facilitate broad collaboration and knowledge exchange to expedite sustainability actions.


When the government first announced the disposable plastic tableware ban last year, we were quick to respond and held the ‘Open Think Tank for the Consultation on Disposable Plastic Tableware’ on 26 August 2021. We did this because we were aware of the industry’s concerns, and we knew from our experience that convening our partners and stakeholders for dialogue exchange could lead to fruitful discussions of potential solutions and actionable next steps.


While we welcome the government’s decision to push forward the implementation of the disposable plastic tableware ban, we urge the government to take into account the various challenges the industry faces. To reiterate from the discussion at the Open Think Tank, the government needs to provide the following support to ensure the industry’s adaptation to the ban:

  • Offer Subsidies to:

    • F&B operators to cover the additional costs incurred from the procurement of plastic alternatives;

    • Plastic alternative suppliers for business and product development to reach economies of scale;

    • Providers of reusables to cover the additional costs for cleaning and collection logistics; and

    • Entrepreneurs, innovators, and civil society organisations to research and develop viable plastic alternatives.

  • Infrastructure Building and Enhancement

    • Existing recycling infrastructure and periphery services need to be enhanced to improve recycling efficiency.

    • New infrastructure needs to be built for composting to facilitate the adoption of plastic alternatives, as well as to achieve the government’s goal of ‘zero landfill’ by 2035.

    • Facilities such as centralised cleaning kitchens need to be built to support the reuse system.

  • Information Sharing and Communication

    • The government should create a database of approved alternatives and their biodegradability and compostability, source of materials, approved suppliers and their credentials, and the database needs to be updated regularly.

    • The government should enforce the truth of advertising, instead of leaving it to hospitality and F&B operators to verify the advertising claims by self-proclaimed sustainable product suppliers.

    • The government can consider developing an easily accessible database for consumers to identify the F&B outlets that are already on board with the new regulation, in order to promote broader industry adoption and behavioural change.

    • The government should make all educational and informative materials related to the regulation of disposable plastic tableware easily accessible.

  • Facilitate Broad, Cross-sector Collaboration

    • The government should facilitate cross-sector collaboration to connect big players with smaller players in the hospitality and F&B industry, as well as real estate owners, to streamline the collection and delivery of waste materials to waste recovery facilities. This can lower logistics costs across sectors, and optimise the utilisation rate of existing and future facilities that can turn waste into valuable resources.

We welcome the Hong Kong government, hospitality and dining groups, industry practitioners, sustainability consultants, educators, and civil society organisations to get in touch with us to discuss collaboration and partnerships, our consultation and advisory services, strategic workshops, youth programmes, or other bespoke initiatives. Become a member of GREEN Hospitality today to gain access to our sustainability research and knowledge, as well as other perks such as complimentary tickets to our events!

*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.


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