This Teenager Gets Vocal Against Plastic Waste in Quarantine Hotels
Who would have thought that a hotel stay would put the spotlight on the issue of plastic waste? But that is what happened with the pandemic – quarantining in hotels has worsened the already severe problem of plastic pollution with the usage of single-use takeaway containers, cups, cutlery, etc. The Green Earth, a Hong Kong-based charity focused on plastic waste, estimated that at least 100 million such items had been used at quarantine hotels since the pandemic began.
Meet Felix Dykerhoff, a 16-year-old Sustainability Advocate
Much like others, Felix Dykerhoff had to undergo compulsory hotel quarantine in Hong Kong. He saw the worrying levels of plastic waste generated during his many hotel quarantines stays but unlike many of us, he didn’t want to stay quiet about this pile-up.
"Plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plastic food containers. Plastic upon plastic upon plastic, for one meal. With my own experience during various COVID-19 related hotel quarantines I calculated the ratio of plastic to food being approximately 4:1. There was more plastic delivered than food," he said.
He took it upon himself to highlight this issue of plastic consumption through his research paper “Reducing Plastic in Hong Kong Hotels” detailing what hotels can do to decrease this waste and offered solutions. This young advocate of sustainability wants to take his message on reducing plastic waste in quarantine hotels to a wider audience so that it can force the hotels to look at greener, eco-friendly options.
"The millennial generation is already echoing their eagerness for sustainability. This echo will only grow louder, and louder, and future customers (but also current customers such as me) will be more interested in the environmental consequences of what the hotel supplies them. What matters will alter. The casing in which food is served will matter. The sustainability of the hotel will matter. The market demand for “green hotels” will only increase," Felix added.
We met up with Felix for our very first GREEN Talk for this year to discuss his research paper, his views on single-use plastic waste in the context of quarantine hotels, and to hear his solutions for this problem. You can watch our interaction with him here - https://youtu.be/Hu_DOzciFKg
And read his full research paper here
Youth and empowerment are the very foundation of who we are, and our endeavour is to encourage youngsters to take steps to help solve pertinent global issues like plastic pollution, which co-incidentally is also one of the challenges in our #GREENHackathon2022! If you are interested to help find answers to such global concerns, here is your chance to make a difference towards a sustainable future. Simply register here and be part of the solution.