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Clink, clink… recycle!

TPB’s Fiona Donnelly reminds Hong Kong to recycle its glass bottles after enjoying the festivities.

Whether it’s champagne, eggnog or mulled wine, the chances are that you will be planning to have a festive tipple or two over the coming holidays. As a result, you will probably be creating more used glass bottles than usual all be it hopefully through very pleasurable ways.

So many folks don’t believe that glass bottles can be recycled in Hong Kong or they have the bigger negative view: they don’t believe that any recycling is done in Hong Kong because they’ve seen the recycle bin collectors pour all the separated rubbish into the same trash lorry.

Wrong and wrong!

While the territory is indeed not a poster child for ‘reduce reuse recycle’ behaviour, recycling DOES take place, and that includes for glass bottles.

2018 brought about the engagement of two glass management contractors that have the territory 100% covered, so regardless of where you are in Hong Kong, you have access to a potential glass bottle recycling solution. (For Hong Kong Island and New Territories call Baguio; for Kowloon contact Hong Kong Glass Reborn.) Plus the two companies have exacting performance targets, so they are highly motivated to build their collection networks.

To make recycling worthwhile, the secret is good separation at source, so when recycling please make sure only glass bottles are put in the glass bottle bin.
>> Empty the contents (the easy bit!),
>> Rinse the bottle
>> Remove the cork/cap and
>> Place one-by-one in the glass bottle recycle bin
There’s no need to remove the label or colour separating the bottles.  It’s when recycling bins are contaminated such as pizza boxes are in the glass bottle bin, the waste collector has no other choice but to empty the entire contents into mixed waste. He is tasked to collect used glass bottles, not a melee of debris.

But please do believe the effort to use the recycle bins is worthwhile. In Hong Kong the used bottles are taken to one of two factories where they are made into eco-pavers (low load bearing bricks).  Alternatively, they may crushed and used in construction as a substitute for sand. Or some may end up as a constituent to a sustainable process elsewhere in the region, perhaps to melt down and remake into new glass bottles.

So as you are placing your wine orders and stocking up on other liquid festive treats, have a think about what you will do with your empties.

Don’t let festive cheer result in environmental boos.


If you are interested in improving recycling and waste issues in your business contact TPB to find our how we can how your company can thrive.

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