According to the “Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong” report published by the Environmental Protection Department, waste plastics is the second largest constituent of municipal solid waste. In 2021, approximately 2,331 tons per day of waste plastics were disposed of at landfills. Despite this amount being equivalent to 80.5 double-decker buses, the plastic recycling rate is only 8%. To raise awareness among Hong Kong citizens about the waste plastics issue, increase their willingness to recycle, and promote the concept of a circular economy, P&G Hong Kong and Watsons Hong Kong collaborated to launch the three-year "Plastic Reborn" program in 2021.
In the third year of the program, P&G and Watsons Hong Kong have partnered with MakerBay Foundation, a local collaborative innovation organization, to convert waste into resources and utilize them in the initial phase of implementing a circular economy through STEM education on campuses. Specifically, approximately 100 kgs of plastic bottles collected through the "Plastic Reborn" program and other local sources are reprocessed and transformed into 3D printing materials suitable for use in general primary and secondary schools. In the first stage, these 3D printing materials were gifted to 50 local primary and secondary schools for STEM education, aiming to continue the mission of environmental education and promote circular economy practices with plastics.
Photo 1 & 2: P&G, Watsons Hong Kong and MakerBay Foundation held two STEM workshops in local secondary school in June
In the meantime, P&G, Watsons Hong Kong and MakerBay Foundation will hold STEM workshops on campus in June. Apart from integrating technology to promote environmental education, the workshops will also inspire students to address environmental issues through theory and practice, inspiring creative thinking and enhancing the environmental awareness of the younger generation.
Since the launch of the “Plastic Reborn” program in 2021, P&G and Watsons Hong Kong cooperated to provide clean and convenient recycling points through Watsons’ enormous store network. Additionally, P&G conducted investigations and research on local consumers with the objectives of simplifying recycling procedures, improving the transparency of the recycling process, and ultimately enhancing citizens' willingness to recycle while instilling confidence in the feasibility of plastic reborn. Thanks to the support and participation of citizens, over 360,000 plastic containers were recycled through the program thus far. The stacked height of the plastic bottles is equivalent to 9 Mount Everests or 200 IFC buildings, clearly demonstrating the achievements.
Photo 3: P&G and Watsons Hong Kong cooperated to provide clean and convenient recycling points through Watsons’ enormous store network.
Alan Tsui, P&G Hong Kong Sustainability Officer Sales Director of P&G said, “One of the priorities in P&G's Ambition 2030 is to prevent P&G product plastic packaging from entering the ocean and negatively impacting the ecosystem. P&G is dedicated to innovating circular economy solutions, and the “Plastic Reborn” exemplifies this commitment. As pioneers in promoting “Plastic Reborn” in the industry, we aim to inspire more companies to join us in developing innovative ideas with the long-term goal of creating shared value and bringing positive impact to Hong Kong society.”
Samuel Lee, Managing Director of Watsons Hong Kong said, “As a leading health and beauty retailer, Watsons Hong Kong has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable development in the retail market. We are dedicated to partnering with our customers to create positive impacts on the society and the environment. We are delighted to have this opportunity to continue our collaboration with P&G and expand the program to campuses which allows us to further enhance environmental education and encourage more youngsters to deeply consider the plastic recycling issues in Hong Kong. We will persist in exploring innovative and diverse approaches to implement Watsons’ sustainability goals both Offline plus Online (O+O).”
Cyron Chan, Executive Director of MakerBay Foundation said, “We are honored to collaborate with P&G and Watsons Hong Kong in the meaningful "Plastic Reborn" program. The young generation in Hong Kong today requires more inspiration and opportunities to cultivate their creativity and thinking to address social issues effectively. This program serves as a role model, showcasing how companies can offer comprehensive solutions to societal challenges and promote a circular economy. We are pleased to witness more companies joining us in tackling social issues through innovative ideas.”