"Joint Effort amongst Business, Community, Local Recycling Company and Public Environmental Protection Forces to Do Good for Our Home
In the Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035 announced by the Government earlier, the medium-term goal is to gradually reduce the per capita municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal rate by 40 to 45 per cent and raise the recovery rate to about 55 per cent, while the long-term goal is to move away from the reliance on landfills for direct waste disposal by building a circular economy. To help promoting waste reduction, Watsons Hong Kong and P&G gather cross-sector support and launch Plastic Reborn, a territory-wide plastic container recycling campaign. In the first phase, Plastic Reborn works with The Loops Hong Kong, a local recycling company, to send the plastic personal care containers collected to New Life Plastics, a local recycling facility located in Tuen Mun Eco Park, as a way to support local plastic waste reclaim, and take the lead in driving circular economy from retail market.
For mass public, clean and convenient recyclable collection points are provided riding on Watsons’ extensive store network in the community, and the quality of collection is gatekept by in-store staff. Meanwhile, in order to address consumers’ recycling concerns and barriers identified in P&G Hong Kong’s previous sustainability study and recycling pilot tests, the Plastic Reborn recycling procedure is simplified and transparency is increased, so as to enhance citizens' environmental sustainability mindfulness, as well as to build public trust in the feasibility of plastic recycling. It is estimated that the recycling volume for the first year is 110,000 plastic personal care bottles, and the variety and volume of recyclables will gradually increase in next two years.
Watsons and P&G As Sustainability Partners to Promote Local Plastic Recycling with Own Strengths
Mr. Samuel Lee, Managing Director of Watsons Hong Kong attended the press conference and said, ‘Watsons Hong Kong has been actively taking actions to protect the environment, realizing a seamless online and offline (O+O) green shopping experience, and strengthening its commitment to sustainable development to "Look Good, Do Good, Feel Great". We are delighted to partner with P&G, the international consumer goods company, to elevate and expand the plastic container recycling program to next level, with a common sustainable development ambition. Leveraging Watsons' extensive recycling network and irresistible consumer rebate offers, we would like to unite efforts from the public, business community and recycling companies, in encouraging consumers to join Plastic Reborn. Watsons was the first health and beauty chain store in Hong Kong implementing territory-wide plastics container recycling program many years ago. We target to increase the recycling rate of plastic personal care containers to 50 per cent of our total sales by 2030, and gradually extend to skin care products. We are looking forward to working with P&G and expanding the recycling campaign in the next two years.’
Lee added that ‘Watsons Hong Kong commits in developing more responsible Own Brand products and encouraging the collection of recyclables by placing recycling bins at office. Jointly with the Loops HK, we will firstly introduce our “WAT? Plastic Reborn Activation” at our office in mid-March, to motivate our staff to minimize the plastic waste and support the recycling initiative.’
In fact, Plastic Reborn is not a short-term idea. Two years prior to its launch, P&G has conducted research on local consumers' recycling behavior through different kinds and scales of environmental protection activities, and there are two key learnings identified that affect consumers' plastic recycling intentions-
- The credibility of the recycling facilities and the destination of the recyclables;
- Complexity of plastic waste sorting
In view of these, P&G and The Loops Hong Kong has begun to pilot a new, one-stop recycling program in the P&G office in last October, namely Office Loops, in order to facilitate colleagues reducing waste generated in work and at home. The pilot program tested how simplified recycling procedures and transparency influence recycling intentions. Despite of flexible work arrangement during epidemic, the program received enthusiastic response. To date, the project received a total of 222.28 kilograms recyclables, equivalent to 1,030 plastic take-out lunch boxes.
‘We’re proud to partner with Watsons Hong Kong, which is just one of the many ways we are delivering on our Ambition 2030 goals to accelerate sustainable innovation and drive circular solutions,’ said Michael Yates, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of P&G Hong Kong and Taiwan. ‘To delight consumers and make sustainable living easy in the Community, the P&G Hong Kong Sustainability Taskforce has been working hard to cultivate a sense of 4Rs (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) amongst stakeholders. We are passionate in sparking an impactful change by taking the leadership in mobilizing a circular economy at scale in the city. Plastic Reborn is only the first step to pilot the transformation. Next, we will learn and optimize the process and extend the ideas to our value chain and the Community. There will be more transformative partnerships, as these are key components for us to achieve Ambition 2030,’ he continued.
Jorch Wong, Founder of The Loops Hong Kong said, ‘We are honored to join Plastic Reborn, this is our first large scale recycling partnership covering the entire Hong Kong. We hope the partnership can help the city develop a sustainable and circular business solution. To make our society a more sustainable one is a long-term task that requires dedication from every one of us, we hope we can bridge every party together, accumulate our power and catalyze transformation towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable way of living. The Loops Hong Kong service begins with household recycling and does not end here - we hold a firm belief that by extending our service to different districts, Plastic Reborn can take the lead to promote recycling in the easiest way to consumer’s everyday life and to practice what is preached towards sustainable living and a circular economy.’