Plastics have been dominating the headlines in recent years, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s an epidemic we are facing as a global population, with certain countries making strides in recent years to combat; either through elimination altogether or recycling programmes. What we have on offer in Hong Kong is, frankly, dismal, with options few and far between, and much confusion to go along with it. However, there is hope on the horizon, with new avenues for us to explore.
Love Recycling Plus was founded by a former UK resident, who was used to an extensive recycling habit and upon return to Hong Kong, was sorely disappointed to find that while people were willing to recycle, the government’s free service was both inefficient and almost completely ineffective. Collection points were not tended to often enough and led to over spilling – as a result, recycling matter was simply being diverted to general waste. Whatever was in the recycling bins was deemed unfit for recycling due to dirt or contamination and as a result, was just taken straight to the landfill.
Providing customers with their own bins, Love Recycling Plus accepts the following:
- Glass: wine and beer bottles, glass jars.
- Metal: aluminium drink cans, food tins, metal biscuit tins.
- Cardboard and paper: newspaper, cardboard, A4 paper, magazines, toilet roll tubes.
- Plastic: type 1-7 plastics, bar type 3.
- Tetra Paks: milk or drink cartons, paper cups.
- Miscellaneous: cup noodle pots, sweet wrappers, Styrofoam lunchboxes, crisp packets.
Here are the different types of plastics to help you get familiar with the acceptable and the bad:
- Type 1 (Polyethylene Terephthalate a.k.a. PET or PETE): the most widely used plastic in the world including water bottles, soft drink bottles, mouthwash bottles.
- Type 2 (High-density Polyethylene a.k.a. HDPE): another versatile, durable plastic found in shampoo bottles, milk bottles, cleaning product bottles.
- Type 3 (Polyvinyl Chloride a.k.a. PVC): the only plastic that is not recyclable and should be avoided in the first place, it tends to end up in the incinerator or landfill where its dioxin production is toxic to humans and animals. These include: toys, baby dishes, PVC pipes, clingfilm, vinyl flooring, blister packs and clamshell containers.
- Type 4 (Low-Density Polyethylene a.k.a. LDPE): squeeze bottles, bubble wrap, six pack rings.
- Type 5 (Polypropylene a.k.a. PP): plastic straws, yoghurt pots, ice cream containers.
- Type 6 (Polystyrene or Styrofoam a.k.a. PS): egg cartons, disposable cutlery, disposable cups.
- Type 7 (Miscellaneous Plastics a.k.a OTHER): all rigid, unlabelled plastic can be considered a miscellaneous plastic, such as: baby bottles. CDs, water cooler bottles.
As you can see, it can be easy to recycle properly but it takes commitment (and a little extra cash to subscribe). If it means your next trip to the beach doesn’t leave you wading through plastic, surely that’s worth it?