Waste Deep: An Exploratory Study of the Waste Generated by the Hospitality Industry in Hong Kong
This project is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee.
HKU's Business School is contributing to this research through the involvement of student interns, researchers, and instructors of its Impact Lab.
This field research, which we kicked off on 25th February, is a direct result of what we found (or better to say, not found) through our desktop research on waste in the hospitality industry last year. We realized that even though tourism and hospitality are considered as one of the four key pillars of the Hong Kong economy, the most recent attempt to measure its impact in terms of waste dated back to 2001. While this 2001 research had relatively good coverage on single-use plastic items in hotels, the data on waste generated from restaurants was undifferentiated. The main focus of the 2001 research was to estimate the environmental cost of this waste, without drawing conclusions on the causes of the wastage.
Second, we found that there was no estimation of the waste generated by the tourism and hospitality industry at the governmental level. That means that when we tried to estimate it, we took as a proxy the amount of commercial waste generated. However, in 2018, the commercial waste category was merged with the industrial waste category. What was a crude proxy before became even less relevant to try to understand the impact of the industry when it comes to waste generation.
In waste management, awareness and data collection is always the first step. To understand the underlying causes of waste generation so as to propose better solutions going forward, we need better data on the amount of waste generated in the hospitality industry.
We would like to thank all of our F&B partners who were willing to share the data about their waste with us. If you would like to get involved in our future research or have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.