Drink Without Waste - Deloitte publishes report of research commissioned by Single-Use Beverage Package Working Group
A Hong Kong environmental group has estimated that 5.2 million plastic bottles are discarded in Hong Kong every day. The majority ends up in landfill, but many end up littering on land and in the ocean. Efforts by the Government, businesses and individuals to reduce consumption of single-use beverage packaging (SUBP) and to increase level of recycling have had minimal impact. Changes in the regulations in Mainland China in the past year have made it harder to export recyclable materials for processing, leaving Hong Kong and many other territories considering how best to deal with recycling.
Recognising the need for a systematic and collaborative approach, in 2017 a group of concerned stakeholders including beverage producers, NGOs, retailers, think tanks, waste collectors and other corporates came together to form the Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group, with the aim of ensuring sustainable management of SUBP in Hong Kong. The initiative is called 'Drink Without Waste', and in early 2018 the Working Group commissioned Deloitte to act as an independent research consultant to consult stakeholders and to access the most effective means of achieving their aim.
The purpose of this research project was to assess different methods for Hong Kong to effectively manage SUBP to minimise waste directed to landfills, incinerators and the environment. Specifically, the key steps involved in the research were as follows:
- Analysis of the Hong Kong beverage market landscape and packaging management practices
- Review of international best practice
- Stakeholder engagement on sustainable beverage packaging management in Hong Kong
- Environmental, social and economic assessments of two defined scenarios