Circular Economy and Recycling were Difficult due to Covid
P&G and Watsons Hong Kong Expand Plastic Reborn

Aiming at enhancing early children education on environmental protection mindfulness by interactive forest-planting and encouraging plastic waste recycling and reduction habits during the epidemic

P&G and Watsons Hong Kong Expand Plastic Reborn

The recent wave of Covid makes people stay home longer, use more disposable items and rely more on online shopping, leading to an increase in household waste disposal. The situation got even worse when operations of different community recycling facilities were required to close temporarily or provide limited services, making people difficult to adhere to the 3Rs (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) green lifestyle. Taking the data released by the Environmental Protection Department in December last year as an example, the daily amount of household waste disposed per capita reached 0.91 kg, setting a new high since 2007. The overall recycling rate also dropped 1% from 2019 to 28%, which is a new low since the reunification with the Motherland. Therefore, it is especially critical to tailor a sustainable environmental practice under the new norm.

With early success from the Plastic Reborn, a territory-wide plastic container recycling campaign launched last year, Procter & Gamble Hong Kong Limited (P&G) and Watsons Hong Kong expanded the campaign in April this year, aiming at enhancing early children education on environmental protection mindfulness and strengthening the community's efforts in recycling and reducing plastic waste under the new norm brought by the epidemic. There are two major initiatives included:

  1. The “Pampers X Watsons Hong Kong Tree Planting” Program
  2. The “Loops at Home Pilot” Program

Plant a Green Future for our Next Generation with the Pampers X Watsons Hong Kong

Eco Matcher x Pampers x Watsons

Tree Planting Program

Cultivating environmental protection mindfulness during childhood is critical for community sustainability development. To avoid children getting bored out from one-way, monotone environmental education, Pampers, the flagship Baby Care brand under P&G, specially partnered with Watsons Hong Kong and launched the “Pampers X Watsons Hong Kong Tree Planting” Program1, from the Earth Day, April 22, 2022 to May 12, 2022.

During the program period, upon any purchase of Pampers products at Watsons online or offline stores, consumer can adopt a sapling in Southeast Asia, planted by EcoMatcher, a Hong Kong-based tree-planting organization, for free 2. Throughout the forest-planting process, EcoMatcher would grow different species of trees to promote and maintain ecological diversity. To learn more, consumers and their children can virtually visit their saplings and understand the precise location of the tree planted via satellite map in EcoMatcher's platform. The platform also shows the species, CO2 absorption rate of the tree, the farmer who is taking care of it. Consumers can also name their saplings, take selfies, and even talk to the farmer in English via AI conversation. By growing environmental protection mindfulness in an interesting and interactive way, it is expected that awareness of environmental conservation can be deeply rooted in the mind of the next generation, and young people would give back to nature by planting trees.

The “Loops at Home Pilot” Program

The first year of Plastic Reborn received unprecedented response. Over 200,000 plastic bottles were collected, 80% more than the estimated recycling volume, i.e.110,000 personal care products, equivalent to the height is of five Mount Everest or 111 IFC buildings, if the bottles were stacked together. Stepping into the second year, in order to study recycling habits and relevant triggers to local households, the scope of the Plastic Reborn Campaign is expanded, with the launch of the “Loops at Home Pilot” Program, so as to explore and develop a circular economy and online & offline responsible consumption models which fit Hong Kong.

As part of the Program plans, The Loops HK, a local environmental recycling company, is appointed to provide one-stop, door-step household recycling service to participants. There will also be questionnaires and a focus group discussion to collect and compare recycling habits and behavioural changes before and after the program, as a way to further optimize effective recycling in the community under the new norm brought by Covid.

Alan Tsui, P&G Hong Kong Sustainability Taskforce Lead cum Sales Director said, “To achieve P&G’s sustainability goals – Ambition 2030 and Net-zero by 2040, it is our honour in continuing to be a close partner of Watsons Hong Kong in realizing environmental sustainability. Results of the first year of the Plastic Reborn campaign is really encouraging. As always, our focus is not only on the plastic waste issue, but more on how to implement sustainable living by fulfilling consumers and community’s desire in local environmental sustainability development, especially under the new norm in fighting against Covid-19. We will continue to learn, refine and share how to advance local environmental protection.”

Donna Poon, Trading Director of Watsons Hong Kong said, “Watsons Hong Kong is committed to becoming a trusted brand with a sense of mission. The Company has been leading the retail market by working with different partners in promoting sustainable development, so as to fully implementing Watsons’ 2030 Corporate Sustainability Development Blueprint, and providing consumers more diversified sustainable products and shopping experience. We are delighted to continue working with P&G, to encourage consumers to actively participate in offline and online (O+O) sustainability initiatives, including the expansion of the Plastic Reborn campaign, the launch of the Tree Planting program, as well as the Loops at Home Pilot Program.”

1 For terms and conditions, please refer to the event website: https://pampersbb.club/zh/achievements
2 A sapling refers to the exclusive serial number of the small tree planted by EcoMatcher