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Two waste management firms and a food production distributor have formed a joint venture to tackle Hong Kong’s big plastic problem. ALBA Group Asia, a German waste management firm, in association with China-based Baguio Waste Management & Recycling and local Swire Beverages have signed on to open a state-of-the-art recycling facility for plastic waste.
The plant, expected to be built on Hong Kong’s first waste recycling and environmental engineering complex, EcoPark, in Tuen Mun, will process two common forms of household plastic waste – PET (water bottles/drinks and food containers) and HDPE (household cleaning products, shampoo bottles, milk jugs and the like) – that will eventually encompass the entire domestic supply of recoverable waste bottles.
“So far Hong Kong doesn’t have much large-scale recycling for plastics but we are talking about professional recycling on a level you won’t find anywhere else here,” Axel Schweitzer, Alba Group CEO told the SCMP. “The plant will need to go through a period of ramping up, to implement the system and collect enough material because this is all new to Hong Kong. But the ultimate goal should be, if needed, to cover all of the domestic market.”
The joint venture, designed to pool together their combined strengths, will draw upon Baguio’s domestic collection network in Hong Kong with ALBA’s recycling technology experience, and Swire Beverages’ marketing and advertising reach in the Hong Kong beverage industry. Slated to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2020, the completion date will correspond with mainland China’s proposal to expand its ban on imports of solid waste.
Watsons Water, one of Hong Kong’s biggest drinks manufacturer, launched a cash program earlier this year to incentivize the public to recycle single-use plastics. However, the scheme is only applicable for certain plastic products. For those unaware of our city’s pitiful recycling infrastructure, this is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate which plastics are reusable, recyclable and what to avoid.
The plastic waste crisis is an opportunity for Hong Kong to get serious about innovative solutions at home. In addition to practicing the 5 R’s on a daily and learning to become an eco warrior, support the local small businesses that are breathing new life from your old waste.
Image courtesy of Bezner Heilig Group.