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Hong Kong’s beverage and catering giant Vitasoy unveiled a first-of-a-kind scheme to reduce the pressure on landfills by increasing the collection of items which can be recycled. The scheme aims to raise awareness about clean recycling among Hong Kong consumers.
Vitasoy launched the Beverage Carton Clean Recycling Reward Scheme to prevent beverage carton waste from ending up in landfills. It plans to achieve this by increasing the collection of discarded beverage cartons for recycling.
Given that the giant is behind more than 75 percent of the cartons that enter Hong Kong’s landfills, this is one of its few initiatives to correct the damage it has caused.
Plus, recycling in Hong Kong has always been a tricky issue to deal with as an investigation reveals that plastic bottles meant for recycling at residential housing estates are diverted to landfills instead.
The scheme is based on a reward framework to encourage sustainable recycling behaviours among consumers. It includes four categories – community recycling centres/organisations; housing estates; schools and other setups.
At the moment, there are over 380 collection points which have been set up across the city. These points aim to make it convenient for the participants to drop the items for recycling.
From each category, participants can compete to collect the highest monthly average weight of recyclables during the entire year. They can stand a chance to win gold, silver, bronze, and merit awards. The organization with the highest accumulated weight of recyclables in this year will win the championship.
How does it work?
Participants can strip and cut the straw, sleeve and cap of the carton as they are made from different kinds of plastic which need to be recycled separately. Then, you can rinse the carton making it easier for the recycler. After flattening it out, it can be retuned for recycling.
Through Hot Press technology, the cartons are heat-pressed and are subsequently transformed into chipboard for furniture. The process of Extrusion upcycles the cartons into Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) to make things like benches. On the other hand, a Repulping technology separates the pulp from the carton. This is used for manufacturing paper-based everyday items like cardboard, coaster, stationery, and household paper.
In addition, the prizes for this new scheme will be created from recycled materials.
Earlier this year, Vitasoy joined forces with non-profit Mil Mill and local designers to develop 400 pieces of certificates from 100% recycled beverage carton pulp. Irrespective of who wins, all participants will receive these recycled certificates of appreciation to drive the local circular economy.
Vitasoy’s Green Initiatives
Back in 2019, Vitasoy unveiled the Beverage Carton Clean Recycling Education Program. This initiative focuses on blending community and in-school education programs to build the peoples’ understanding of clean recycling and it is important.
It also launched a pilot scheme to recycle Tetra Pak cartons in the region’s schools. However, several green groups were unsure of how much of a positive impact would this initiative have on Hong Kong’s waste problem. About the scheme in 2019, a Green Power spokesman said that they would “further urge Vitasoy, one of the main beverage and catering giants in the city, to push their recycling job forward and not limit it to schools only.” 2021’s program has taken that advice and extended its program to everyone in the city.
Health, beauty, and pharmacy chain Watsons is also making efforts to reduce waste. It partnered with multinational CPG industry giant P&G to set up a recycling campaign across the region. With the help of several collection points, the campaign aims to recycle plastic containers and send them to New Life Plastics in Tuen Mun’s Eco Park.
Lead image courtesy of Vitasoy.