How was Hong Kong Cleanup started?
The Hong Kong Coastal Cleanup Challenge was started by Lisa Christensen 14 years ago when she decided to clean up trash with a few friends during a junk trip in Hong Kong. It grew exponentially in numbers over the years with the support of friends, sponsors, media partners and supporting organizations and expanded into the Hong Kong Cleanup to include country trail and city street cleanups two years ago. Last year, the event engaged 45, 680 volunteers, cleaning up 1, 282, 477kg of trash from 1, 833km of shorelines, country park trails and city streets.
What is the mission of Hong Kong Cleanup?
Our mission is threefold:
- • To empower Hong Kong citizens to become active agents in keeping our beautiful coastal areas, country parks and city streets safe, clean and trash free.
- • To increase awareness and instil a level of understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental protection.
- • To advocate for change in policy related to waste management, littering and pollution, and for environmental sustainability to become a greater priority for Hong Kong policymakers.
What is Hong Kong Cleanup’s geographical focus?
The cleanups are focused in and around Hong Kong. We’ve also partnered with companies and organizations beyond Hong Kong, such as Macau and Bali to organize cleanups.
What are Hong Kong Cleanup’s goals for Hong Kong specifically?
Our key recommendations include swift implementation of proposed government policies including waste charging and an extension of the plastic bag levy, as well as increased education about the importance of each of us reducing our personal waste footprint.
How can Hong Kongers get involved with Hong Kong Cleanup?
There are 3 main ways to participate:
- Coastal Cleanup Challenge: With its expansive coastal areas, fishing and shipping industries, marinas, boating and water sports, Hong Kong has a special relationship with the marine environment, and as such it is vital for us to take part in its protection. Beach cleanups bring awareness to the vast and vital issue of marine debris, and allow participants to engage with our beautiful coastal ecosystems.
- Country Cleanup Challenge: Hong Kong’s country parks are one of our most valuable assets. They offer not only beautiful vistas and recreational activities such as hiking, cycling and camping, but also absorb carbon dioxide and are home to many species of wildlife. Detrimental amounts of litter and trash can be found in all of our country parks, and the issue needs to be addressed. Cleanups educate about littering and its effect on the natural world we all need and enjoy.
- City Cleanup Challenge: Every day, more than 10, 000 street cleaners manually sweep and remove copious amounts of litter and trash from our city streets. Trash from our homes, offices, schools and neighbourhoods is bagged and sent to already-full landfills, or swept down storm drains and washed out to sea. We need to look at our urban behaviour and stem the flow of trash at the source. Cleaning our city streets, offices homes and schools will provide an eye opening experience for many. City Cleanup Challenges can take the form of a single day cleanup or a longer-term monitoring activity!
Get involved today! Find out more at: www.HKcleanup.org
What are some of your favourite charities, other than Hong Kong Cleanup of course?
Some of our supporting organizations include Living Lamma, HK Hiking Meetup and Plastic Free Seas.
All photos courtesy of Ecovision.